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How Brightburn Weirdly Benefitted From James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Firing

Brightburn Brandon Breyer in mask close up

When James Gunn was fired by Disney last summer, one of the projects most directly affected was David Yarovesky’s Brightburn. More than the fact that Gunn had a direct link to the movie as an Executive Producer, the news about his removal from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was announced just hours before the start of a San Diego Comic-Con panel that was scheduled to see the film’s title and plot revealed to the world prior to its scheduled November 30, 2018 release date. Because of the controversy, the decision was made to push the horror feature, and Screen Gems ultimately decided to make it a May 2019 release.

But while this may all seem like it would be a bad thing, in retrospect, David Yarovesky feels that it actually wound up helping Brightburn a lot.

Earlier this month I had the wonderful pleasure of sitting down with David Yarovesky to interview him for our superhero podcast HeroBlend, and the first question I asked was about what happened at San Diego Comic-Con last summer. Curious about his perspective on the ordeal, I asked how the events wound up impacting Brightburn as a movie, and he explained why it surprisingly wound up being a good thing for the project. Said the director,

I'm a filmmaker, so any chance I have to have more resources, more time, more anything I'm going to take it. I worked on this movie until the very end, and I kept working on it. One of the producers, Simon Hatt, who I was very close with on the movie, he said to me that ‘no movie is finished; they're pried out of the director's hands.’ And he told me that he was going to be the one to pry this movie out of my hands. I always love him saying that to me because it felt like this kind of like sweet mercy that was coming for me - like he was going to take me out in the woods and shoot me at the end of the process. So I just went to work.

There are many filmmakers who find themselves begging for more time and resources when they are working on a feature, and while David Yarovesky surely would have preferred getting both of those things for Brightburn under totally different circumstances, things did weirdly wind up working in his production’s favor at the end of the day (not to mention the fact that James Gunn was eventually rehired by Disney, bringing everything back to status quo). Yarovesky wound up getting an extra six months to make his second film as good as it could be, and it was time he took full advantage of when it was given.

I followed up by asking about exactly how David Yarovesky took advantage of the situation, and while he didn’t get extremely detailed in the discussion, he did note that the period allowed for a small amount of extra production time, as well as some much-needed edit bay work. He even admitted that Brightburn may have been delayed even without the whole “James Gunn being fired” incident, as the schedule as it had been established apparently may not have been enough for the film. He explained,

With more time came more resources, and we were able to do a little additional photography and we were able to spend time. These movies go so quick, and to be totally honest with you, there was a part of me that was betting that the movie was going to get pushed anyways because of how fast we were moving to make that deadline. It was pretty tight. And so there was a bit of, 'Okay, now we can really explore and dive in.’ So that was great.

The subject of the delay was one of many things that I had the opportunity to discuss about the making of Brightburn, and we really had a wonderful spoiler-free conversation. You can listen to my entire chat with David Yarovesky on the latest episode of our HeroBlend podcast, which is available to stream and download right now:

Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson Dunn, and Matt Jones, Brightburn is a twist on the classic Superman mythos, and crafts a story questioning what would happen if a Man of Steel-esque being was filled with natural malevolent intent. The movie is now playing in theaters everywhere, and we’ll have more for you about the feature in the coming days here on CinemaBlend!

Eric Eisenberg
Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.