Since July, most of the talk about James Gunn has been about his relationship with Marvel Studios and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but that chatter has ignored the other feature he has on the horizon. Gunn has also produced a new horror movie written by his brother and cousin that was originally slated to come out this fall - and I write "originally" because now the project has been rescheduled for next May.
Up until this point the specific name of the horror movie has been kept a secret, but now we know that it will be called BrightBurn - directed by David Yarovesky (The Hive). Details about the plot are being kept tightly under wraps, though we know that it's based on an original premise from writers Brian and Mark Gunn. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it will now be hitting theaters nationwide on May 24, 2019.
Sony was originally planning to have Brightburn come out at the end of November, and even had plans for a special unveiling at San Diego Comic-Con. It was just hours before the scheduled Hall H panel, however, that the news broke that Disney was firing James Gunn, and as a result the panel was cancelled. The studio has kept silent about the movie ever since then, with this release date change being the first official word about the feature that we've heard about it in months.
Of course, those who follow the movie business regularly will note that May 24th is a rather significant weekend in the industry, given that it is right in the heart of the summer blockbuster season. In fact, the change means that it will now be in direct competition with Disney's live-action Aladdin movie, which is pretty serious (The Minecraft Movie is also slated to come out that weekend, but considering that film doesn't currently have a director, that's probably not going to happen). Hopefully what we're witnessing is an extreme vote of confidence in the project's potential, and that it's packing a major punch that will allow it to compete with some of the biggest releases of the year.
Brightburn features an awesome cast that includes Elizabeth Banks (who previously worked with James Gunn playing the lead role in Slither), David Denman, Matt Jones, and Meredith Hagner. Given that the film is now more than half-a-year away from release, we're probably not going to see a trailer any time soon, but hopefully more details about the plot and premise will be revealed before then. It's perhaps not as exciting as a film Gunn has directed himself - and we still don't know what his next feature will be - but it remains an anticipated project simply because of his stamp of approval.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.