A possible sequel to supervillain horror movie Brightburn is being talked about, according to producer James Gunn. Released in May, the film received mixed reactions from both audiences and critics, but a worldwide box office haul of $31.3 million against a budget of only $6 million makes it a decent-sized financial success.
The story of Brightburn was a riff on the origin of Superman, with a spaceship carrying an alien infant crash landing on a Kansas farm, and the baby subsequently being raised by a childless couple. However, instead of the shining light representing all the good of humanity that Kal-El became, young Brandon instead grew distant and withdrawn, eventually using his powers of superhuman strength, invulnerability, flight and heat vision to embark on a reign of terror against his small town.
The news that a Brightburn sequel is being discussed was revealed via an exchange on James Gunn’s Instagram. On a post lamenting the news that Mad Magazine was being discontinued, one commenter brought up their desire for a follow-up to the horror movie. User khodjavy stated “We definitely need @brightburnmovie sequel! Would you be so kind and direct it? @jamesgunn,” to which Gunn replied “I think I'm tied up for the next few years with Suicide Squad and then Guardians, but we're talking about the sequel.”
As Gunn stated, it will be quite some time before he would be available to participate heavily in a sequel to Brightburn, due to being tied up with other productions for the foreseeable future. The Suicide Squad is scheduled to begin production in September for an August 2021 release date, while Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is planned to start filming next year, as its script had already been written prior to Gunn’s sudden firing and eventual surprise rehiring by Disney. Although, since the world of Brightburn is now established, production may be able to move forward without requiring Gunn to be in much of a hands-on creative role.
Like many initial installments of sagas with superpowered characters, Brightburn was only ever intended to be an origin story, with Brandon’s more noteworthy exploits to take place after it. The end credits sequence of news reports seeing the young megalomaniac raining destruction across the country indicates larger plans for the character and his mantra of “Take the world,” while Michael Rooker’s conspiracy theorist reporting on other bizarre entities - a man/fish hybrid terrorizing the seas and a witch choking her victims with a rope - suggests dark mirrors of Aquaman and Wonder Woman joining Brandon’s Superman.
Additionally, a photo of Rainn Wilson’s Crimson Bolt places the film in the same world as Super, a picture of a Zeta-style alien could be a variant on the Martian Manhunter, while an unused alternate ending saw Caitlyn - Brandon’s classmate whose hand he crushed when she let him fall - in a lab strapping on a robot arm with a look of anger on her face, which could have had her ending up as something akin to Cyborg. Whatever one might have thought about Brightburn itself, it’s impossible to deny the central concept was sound, and had a great deal of potential. Director David Yarovsky has stated that should Brightburn’s world be expanded with other films, they would be made in a similar state of utter secrecy, so for all we know there could already be more of them on the way.
Source: James Gunn/Instagram