James Gunn has laid relatively low since Disney—motivated by the baying, bad-faith hounds of the internet far right wing—booted him from his beloved Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise. But while his only real high-profile gig since has been a new Suicide Squad movie he’s writing at Warner Bros., Gunn has quietly continued his production work, as with Sony’s new movie Brightburn, which slowly reveals itself as a superhero movie of a very different sort.
Directed by David Yarovesky—working from a script by Gunn’s brother Brian and cousin Mark—the film follows a set of very familiar beats: Childless couple, comet in the sky, mysterious, miraculous baby in the wreckage. But in case all the ominous music in the trailer didn’t make it clear, this particular take on the Superman mythos isn’t quite as benign, and the film reveals itself as an especially nasty riff on a familiar idea: What if Supes didn’t have that iron-hard moral code and emotional control that keeps him from burning people with his heat vision and ripping us all to shreds?
The trailer’s ad copy pushes the Gunn angle hard, but really, this is a pretty interesting idea in its own right, especially with Elizabeth Banks on hand as evil-Clark Kent’s increasingly freaked-out mom. Brightburn arrives in theaters on Memorial Day 2019.