It's no secret that the superhero genre is dominating the film industry. And with so many shared universes bringing comic book adaptations to theaters, there is some fear about superhero fatigue, where the genre will become too saturated and overstuffed to truly resonate with audiences.
In order to combat this concern, filmmakers have started to put their own spin on comic book movies, breaking new ground for the genre in the process. That's certainly the case with the James Gunn produced Brightburn, which is a horror-infused take on Superman's origin story. But given the similarities between Brightburn's powers and Superman's, did DC ever push back on the project? According to Gunn himself, not even a little. As he put it:
Well no, because there’s a lot of similar stories that have been told in comic books over the years, from all sorts of different comic book publishers And I have a pretty good relationship with DC.
While Brightburn's protgonist Bradon Beyer shares the same abilities as DC's Man of Steel, it doesn't look like the comic book behemoth had any problem with James Gunn's upcoming horror/superhero movie. Clark Kent is the only hero in the history of media, plus Gunn has a working relationship with DC Studios.
James Gunn's comments to CinePop make a great deal of sense, especially considering his upcoming collaboration with DC for The Suicide Squad. Following his (temporary) firing from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Gunn put his creative energy into bringing Brightburn to life. He also picked up a gig to write and direct The Suicide Squad, which may or may not be a reboot from David Ayer's previous film.
DC must have known about Brightburn ahead of bringing on James Gunn to direct the villain-centric blockbuster. So if there was any issue with the upcoming genre-bending film, the studio had the chance to make their intentions known. But that didn't happen, allowing Gunn to bring a new type of superhero movie to theaters.
Another point James Gunn made in his above comments is just how many comic book character are really out there. So while Brightburn's main character will have similar powers to Superman's, the pop culture lexicon includes plenty of fictional characters who can fly, shoot lasers out of their eyes, and utilize super strength. Brightburn isn't actually about Clark Kent, after all.
Still, the similarities between Brightburn and Superman's origin story helped the buzz and anticipation for the new movie. Now that Brightburn is finally in theaters, we'll see how well this strategy worked in the box office.
Brightburn hits theaters today. Be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.