James Gunn Thinks Brightburn Is a Perfect Memorial Day Movie

The mask from Brightburn, and the boy who wears it.
Image: Sony/Entertainment Weekly

Brightburn, produced by James Gunn, is a dark take on superhero mythology. What if Superman wasn’t a nice, innocent, helpful child, but instead absolutely terrifying?

The moral of the story, says director David Yarovesky, according to Entertainment Weekly, is simple, and not exactly a spoiler. “Maybe adopting an alien baby you find in the woods isn’t the best idea,” he said.

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And James Gunn, for his part, thinks that the horror movie, which was delayed from last year to May 2019, is actually a great Memorial Day movie. “Who doesn’t want to see an alien child on a murderous rampage as we begin our summer?” he said.

It’s a good question, and Gunn, Yarovesky, and crew have put a lot of work in to make sure that’s appealing entertainment, able to reach a level of iconicism that rivals the superhero and horror franchises it’s cribbing from. “I just gave so many notes on [the mask],” Gunn told EW, referring to the mask worn by the young, dangerous protagonist, played by Jackson A. Dunn. “[Trying] to create a really truly iconic horror movie character in the same way that Freddy Krueger is, or in the same that way that Leatherface is, or in the same way that Jason is. Trying to create something with that same sort of feel that is instantly scary [and] plays with the superhero-ness of it all but at the same time is most definitely rooted in horror.”

That mask, created by costume designer Autumn Steed, is undoubtedly set to be a centerpiece of the film. And we’ll find out on Memorial Day if it is able to elevate this super-horror hybrid into solid holiday entertainment.


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Julie Muncy

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.