In the category of “ideas so obvious it’s kind of amazing no one has done it before,” behold the trailer for BrightBurn, a film that asks a single, horrific question: What if Superman came to Earth as a kid, but instead of being benevolent he was a psychotic little demon child?
That’s the entire, potentially litigious premise behind BrightBurn, which the trailer (and other media sites) have taken to calling “James Gunn’s BrightBurn,” despite the fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy creator is only producing rather than directing. This isn’t to say there isn’t plenty of Gunn involvement, though, it’s just not James—the film was written by related duo of Brian and Mark Gunn, and is directed by David Yarovesky, who hasn’t yet worked on anything with a wide release. So it makes sense that they’re trying to focus on Gunn’s name for marketing purposes, as a sort of “emergence back into polite society” after his firing by Disney from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
But let’s get back to BrightBurn itself. This is one kooky-looking project, with what appears to be a complete devotion to the “evil Superman” concept. As we see, the kid even falls to Earth from space, exactly as Kal-El does. And just as in the Superman lore, he’s raised by a couple on a farmstead. The big difference is that this kid actually seems genuinely “alien” in his mindset, which is a rather terrifying thought. It also seems as if the story might be taking place in a world that already contains superhero fiction, which would explain how the kid is able to craft his own, clearly superhero-inspired costume. Just look how cartoonishly evil it is! We can’t even begin to speculate on what the kid’s motivations are, when it comes to killing people.
Very little additional information is known at this point about BrightBurn, except for the fact that it was originally scheduled to release in November, before being pushed to May 24, 2019, which still seems to be the current date. The film stars Elizabeth Banks and David Denman (of The Office) in the Ma and Pa Kent roles, although one has to wonder if they’ll have the unenviable task of putting down their alien progeny.
Regardless, expect a lot more chatter about BrightBurn as it nears its release, especially after the release of such a crazy first trailer.