What if there was something a little bit off about Superman when he was a kid? What if a boy with such immense power let his worst impulses control him and he made the turn into a full-blown supervillain? That’s the premise of Brightburn, and Sony Pictures has released a new clip from the movie featuring a key moment when the troubled kid at the story’s center (Jackson A. Dunn) discovers one of his superpowers. Check out the new Brightburn clip below.
While we’d seen some imagery from this clip in the film’s full trailer, this is the first time we’re seeing it with its intended audio track, which not only includes the thumping of the lawn mower’s whirring blades, but some weird, almost demonic whispers and low-pitched voices. It’s too early to know if this is the film’s attempt to comment on the often-inexplicable destructive tendencies some of us occasionally feel, if this is just going to be a trashy, almost exploitation-style twist on the superhero genre, or maybe a little of both.
I also couldn’t help but draw a parallel between this boy realizing his newfound strength and toxic idiots discovering an outlet for their hatred on the internet. Considering how Brightburn producer James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 thanks in large part to a bad-faith campaign organized by far-right online trolls, that parallel may be impossible to ignore. (Thankfully, Gunn has since been reinstated as the director of that sequel.)
Dunn – who, funnily enough, just appeared in Avengers: Endgame as the twelve-year-old version of Scott Lang during that movie’s comical first time travel sequence – really leans into the dead-behind-the-eyes eeriness of this character, and his smile at the end is intensely creepy and terrifying because of what it portends.
Brightburn is directed by David Yarovesky (The Hive), written by Mark and Brian Gunn (James’ cousin and brother, respectively), and stars Jackson A. Dunn, Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games), David Denman (The Office), Matt Jones (Breaking Bad), and Meredith Hagner (Search Party). Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:
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.
Brightburn blasts into theaters on May 24, 2019.
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