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SYFY WIRE Freddy Krueger

James Gunn cites Freddy Krueger, Leatherface in design for 'iconic' Brightburn mask

By Brian Silliman
Drawing from Brightburn (Credit: Sony)

Director, writer, and producer James Gunn is involved in producing a superhero-themed film that comes out this summer, and guess what— it is not called Avengers: Endgame. Though Gunn is involved with that MCU mega-smash, he has been on the producing end of a smaller, and far creepier, superhero affair.

What would happen if the alien kid that Martha and Jonathan Kent found on the side of the road had some of the gifts but none of the moral code that Superman has? What if this alien kid was some kind of monster? If you can imagine that scenario, then you're pretty much imagining Brightburn, written by Brian Gunn (James' brother) and Mark Gunn (their cousin). The film is directed by David Yarovesky and features former Gunn-show veteran Elizabeth Banks (Slither).

Recently speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Gunn discussed one of the bigger challenges with this superhero-meets-horror mashup— they needed to find the perfect mask that will be worn by the alien child, played by Jackson A. Dunn. To achieve this, he likely drove costume designer Autumn Steed (wife of Yarovesky) to madness.

As Gunn says, “I just gave so many notes on that mask, trying to create a really truly iconic horror movie character in the same way that Freddy Krueger is, or in the same way that Leatherface is, or in the same way that Jason is. Trying to create something with that same sort of feel that is instantly scary [and] plays with the superhero-ness of it all but at the same time is most definitely rooted in horror.”

Yarovesky chimed in, definitely confident that Steed got the job done. “In the process of getting to the final result, that we’re all incredibly proud of, she was like a factory,” he said. “She would just make so many different iterations of the mask. At a certain point, I came into her office, and her wall was wallpapered with iterations of the mask, just the evolution of it is crazy. I just think she did an incredible job."

Is the mask cool and iconic enough that Yarovesky would purchase a copy of it? According to him, "I’d buy it because she’s my wife, but I do think she did an incredible job."

Originally slated for November of last year, the film is now finding itself turning into a Memorial Day movie. Gunn doesn't mind— he says that it's the perfect movie for this time of year. He also adds, "Who doesn’t want to see an alien child on a murderous rampage as we begin our summer?”

Brightburn opens on May 24. Go and watch this little kid murder people super-style.