LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 02: James Gunn attends the Warner Bros. premiere of "The Suicide Squad" at Regency Village Theatre on August 02, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
James Gunn Looked To The Titans Of Horror History For Inspiration On Brightburn's Mask
Before James Gunn became co-head of DC Studios, the filmmaker had a chance to subvert the Superman concept by producing the horror film “Brightburn,” which featured a young superpowered alien terrorizing society. As the film is deeply rooted in horror, Gunn took inspiration from other familiar images in the genre to design the mask worn by this anti-Superman.
Gunn shared, “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.”
While the film received a mixed reception and other projects like “The Boys” already explored the dark side of the superhero world, “Brightburn” took the concept into the horror genre and proved the idea could work. The red mask and cape worn by the villain resemble the likes of Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees, offering no glimmer of hope for those who encounter him.