Comparing Superman vs. “Brightburn”

We reported on the upcoming release of “Brightburn” a few months ago, the film which asks: What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

Ed Gross has published a piece at, asking Superman fans and experts on their thoughts on the film’s obvious connection to the Man of Steel.

“The complaint,” notes Steve Younis, webmaster of the Superman Homepage, “for those who don’t ‘get’ Superman is that he’s too good, and therefore boring and ‘uncool.’ These people are usually fans of the antihero archetype, preferring the darker characters like Batman, Wolverine, Punisher, etc. So to ‘fix’ Superman – like he needs fixing – they try to turn his story towards this type of model: ‘How cool would it be to see Superman turn bad?'”

This is a philosophy which obviously plays into Brightburn. Says James Gunn (producer and Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director), “I love this movie because it’s an entirely new take on the superhero genre. It is something we have never seen before. It’s coming at the superhero movie from a pure horror angle. It’s also a more honest way of coming at the superhero myth, because there’s something terrifying about the idea of a super-powered alien that would come to Earth. In every way we watch this movie, he is a ghost, he’s a demon child, and we treated the movie exactly like that.”

You can read the full article at

Scheduled for release May 27, 2019, the trailer for “Brightburn” even mimicks some of the shots from Zack Snyder’s film.

Elizabeth Banks stars in Sony PIctures’ BRIGHTBURN.
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May 22, 2019 6:48 pm

I thin that this is trying to be Superman “done right.” This almost seems like it’s word for word Superman’s origin. That is until you get the horror aspect of this and it’s a whole different animal. Well like this story said it’s kind of a what if Superman were evil. And in the comments we’ve had all kinds of evil versions of Superman such as Ultraman in times that he was evil will use affected by Red Kryptonite. I guess it’s kind of like Superman using his powers to help people is considered uncool and old-fashioned. I thin that… Read more »

May 22, 2019 7:46 pm

As a horror fan, this intrigues me. As a Superman fan, not so much. It’s clearly meant to be Superman right down to the marketing borrowing a lot from MOS. I have to push back on the notion that this is some kind of ‘new take on the superhero genre.’ I could believe that if it borrowed elements from many different characters but this just seems to me like someone who doesn’t really care for Superman’s character and is intentionally making him an antagonist. Hardly anything new. Will it ruffle my feathers? Nah I don’t care. I’m tired of defending… Read more »

May 22, 2019 8:17 pm

I like Horror movies and I like superhero movies and I’m, surprisingly, ok with this. Maybe because it’s not actually Superman, I don’t know, because I honestly have gotten tired of the dark superman stories.

May 22, 2019 8:33 pm
Reply to  JasEl

i’m pretty much where you are with this. However I think it’s very clear that they’ve used superman as the template. Spaceship, farm, symbol that’s not unlike the kryptonian symbol, heat vision and even the lettering in the trailer is the same as man of steel. Like I said above, It’s not gonna bother me. If people don’t like Superman and want to retcon him be my guest. Nothing I say is going to change their mind. I can probably enjoy this as strictly a horror movie though. I just hope it doesn’t reinforce the notion that we need a… Read more »

May 22, 2019 10:07 pm

An expensive insult to a great character who is insulted far too often.

May 23, 2019 1:00 pm

Truth be told… no other superhero horror movie could be made with so little explanation as to what its trying to achieve. Superman’s origin is so engrained in pop culture that one look and you know what they are going for. This is really a tribute to the fact that Superman is the most iconic superhero of them all… because no other origin story would have people knowing right off the bat what they were trying to achieve.

May 23, 2019 6:42 pm
Reply to  sman1938

Yeah it’s pretty easy to tell what they’re crapping on.

May 24, 2019 3:28 am

I am a horror fan so I liked Brightburn. As far as the Batman types go, I think Batman and Superman are two sides of the same coin

May 24, 2019 9:55 am

“It’s also a more honest way of coming at the superhero myth, ”

This just shows the vile level of crass cynicism driving the whole concept. Love how he thinks being cynical about superheroes in breaking some fresh new ground. Yeah, welcome to 1986!

Think I’ll skip the next Guardians movie.

May 25, 2019 3:25 am

Oh good grief, how sensitive we all are here! ‘Brightburn’ is NOT Superman. It’s a horror twist on the well-known myth. I think this movie is a brilliant idea, and I don’t see any reason to be upset about it. If anything, it shows our Superman – Kal-El of Krypton – to be that much more special, by illustrating how easily things could have gone horribly wrong if he didn’t have so much innate goodness and heroism inside him. So I’m on board for the concept, now let’s see if the movie’s any good.

May 25, 2019 10:04 pm

From what I’ve seen so far, the only brilliant thing about this movie is that they are using a Superman hook to pull people into a poorly made run of the mill demon child gorefest. I would love a horror movie version of Superman that explored why he wound up a monster instead of a hero but every review and almost every comment from people who have seen it says that this movie isn’t it. I’ll wait for it to show up on Netflix.

May 26, 2019 12:55 pm

This is why superhero movies in general are going to probably tapper off in movie goer interest. This new style(if you can call it that) is only one of the many off the wall movies that are on the way to the big screen. Marvel has about run it’s course with all it’s characters and will surly test the remaining market with a bunch of second rate similar movies as well. Will we EVER see any of our DC characters again in the near future? WW is already done and waiting for next year. Other than that there really isn’t… Read more »

May 26, 2019 10:38 pm

I don’t have a real issue with it at all, honestly. Basically, it’s almost like an origin for Ultraman from the Crime Syndicate Universe. We’ve had “what if Superman was evil?” stories ever since that character was introduced in 1964. If people don’t have an issue with that character’s existence in the comics, why would they have issue with a film which basically hypothesizes the same premise? If this film came from WB and it was actually called “Ultraman”, would they still have the same issues? Is it more due to how it’s capitalizing off the character, without the conceit… Read more »

May 27, 2019 9:25 am

Maybe it would be a little less annoying and depressing if creators hadn’t been going to the well so often on “darker” Superman in recent years with things like Injustice. Also if this movie in general wasn’t being so on the nose. ..but everything about it is *designed* to be on the nose and has that whole aura of “..this is what would REALLY happen if your little alien super baby came to Earth so screw your naive f’n fairy tale and get real suckers!” Besides for something like Earth 3’s Ultraman ideally at least he wouldn’t be getting a… Read more »

May 27, 2019 12:47 pm
Reply to  MattComics

In this mornings paper they had a breakdown of weekend movies. They refereed to this movie as a dark take on the Superman mytho. Even went so far as to bring up the critics disliking of it as well.

So we have a movie company that’s not even associated with the WB/DC, getting acknowledged as making a Superman comparative movie only an evil version. We are truly living in a bizarre time. Doesn’t get any stranger than this.

May 31, 2019 12:33 pm

Keep in mind a couple of things. Nobody is officially claiming that this is a direct comparison to Superman. They made a movie that has some similarities. But this turkey had a budget of only 6mill. I certainly don’t expect it to wipe out any Superman mytho. I would imagine that for the most part it’s going to be laced with a kid that does bad things. It’s a stupid movie and the box office is seeing that as well.