Absolute power corrupts absolutely, even if you're Superman. But unlike Henry Cavill’s likeable, charming, and altruistic Superman, the alternate Kal-El in a new movie trailer doesn’t understand his own power — but he understands how to use it to terrify people. That’s the premise of Brightburn: a world where someone like Superman is as fallible as the rest of us. It’s the horror-superhero mashup we never knew we needed that begins just like Superman’s origin story, when he crashed to Earth. But as he grows up, things take a much darker turn.
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) and David Denman (The Office) star as Superman’s parents, who discover him as an infant in a meteor. They live a quiet life on a rural farm, and call him a “gift.” But this alien baby, named Brandon, doesn’t grow up to become a crusader for justice. In the trailer, we see him as a creepy child, levitating, playing with fire, and drawing strange symbols in his school notebook. He chases a terrified waitress into a walk-in refrigerator but soon destroys the door with laser-like powers. It’s a scene straight out of The Omen.
The film was produced by James Gunn, who also wrote and directed Guardians of the Galaxy. He was fired by Disney in July 2018 after offensive tweets he posted were unearthed by a right-wing conspiracy theorist, for which he publicly apologized; this is both his first film since that firing and with Sony, a studio that was not shy at all about putting his name all over the trailer credits.
Brightburn will premiere in theaters on May 24, 2019. You can check out the trailer below.