With the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, James Gunn played with the idea that even the most gutter-dwelling scoundrels of a superhero world can find it in themselves to be good. It’s a fun, hopeful concept, and if you’re expecting something similar walking into Brightburn you’re going to get…the exact opposite of that. Gunn executive-produces the ultra-violent superhero-slasher hybrid directed by David Yarovesky and written by Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn. The film turns the classic Superman origin tale on its head and then stabs it a few times for good measure — an alien aircraft crashlands in rural Kentucky with a baby inside. Tori and Kyle Breyer (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman) take the child, raise him as Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn), and grow increasingly worried as members of their smalltown community start to disappear and die in horrific ways. All the while, Brandon is discovering he’s more than human; he has super strength, he can fly, and there’s a voice in his head telling him to “take the world…”
Before the film’s premiere, I sat down with James Gunn and Elizabeth Banks—reunited for a film for the first time since 2006’s Slither—to discuss the film, whether this scenario is more “realistic” than Superman’s origin story, the cathartic nature of horror, practical effects, and how Brightburn differs from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Check out what they had to say in the player above. Brightburn also stars Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner, Steve Agee, and Becky Wahlstrom.
Here is the official synopsis for Brightburn:
What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.