Elizabeth Banks stars in Sony PIctures' BRIGHTBURN.

Elizabeth Banks stars in Sony PIctures' BRIGHTBURN.

A Superman Goes Dark in the Second Trailer for ‘BrightBurn’

James Gunn produces ‘BrightBurn’ from a script by his brother and cousin and starring Elizabeth Banks as the adoptive mother of a ticked-off alien.

On Wednesday, Sony Pictures released the second trailer for the James Gunn produced BrightBurn, an Omen-style horror flick with a whole lot more superpowers thrown into the mix.

After a mysterious craft crashes in the woods outside their home, two everyday Kansans — Elizabeth Banks and David Denman (it’s Roy from The Office!) — find themselves adopting a mysterious infant contained within the ship. As the boy grows, he develops a series of fantastic powers — flight, super strength, super speed, the whole shebang. Unfortunately, unlike the other famous alien who grew up in Kansas, Banks’ kid has something of a mean streak.

Cue the vendetta (and the bone-chilling mask).


But what about that writing credit at the end? James Gunn is getting the lion’s share of the attention, but the bones of the story come not from James, but from his brother Brian and his cousin Mark. Doesn’t that immediately render BrightBurn a splendid act of nepotism and not much more? 

And then there’s this second trailer, which swerves deftly between the creepy little bastard’s killing spree and Elizabeth Banks growing concern over her life choices. And everything is on point.

Even people who’ve never heard of Action Comics #1 will recognize the obvious parallels between this origin story and that of Kansas’ other most famous export: Superman. Not only does it take place in Kansas, but the kid crash lands, he’s found by childless parents, he’s got superpowers, and someone keeps telling him that he’s here for a reason. The only real difference is that this time around Clark Kent turns murder-crazy. 

Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn) stars in Screen Gems’ BRIGHTBURN.

It’s a premise so obvious some viewers might wonder why it hasn’t been done before now. Of course, that’s what makes BrightBurn so intriguing, as well. We’ve seen Superman as a Ruskie (check out Red Son, it’s neat). We’ve seen him as an emo kid (thanks Zack Snyder!). But we’ve never seen the Last Son of Krypton really go dark. There’s every indication that the filmmakers behind BrightBurn are having a lot of fun embracing the potential for darkness. 

Based on what we’ve seen of this black-hearted hero’s tale, BrightBurn could turn out to be a worthwhile reprieve from the typical summer fare. 

BrightBurn hits theaters on May 24.