How 'Brightburn's Ending Sets Up a New Superhero Horror Universe

"It is the anti-superhero movie," director David Yarovesky says.

All the cool superheroes are doing it now. Brightburn, a new superhero horror movie from director David Yarovesky and producer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), reimagines Superman’s story with elements of The Omen, as a young farm boy awakens to superhuman abilities, and a dark destiny, that originates from his space alien heritage.

And yes, there are more like him. Here’s how the movie’s ending “sets up” a new universe, and what Yarovesky says about future installments.

Spoilers for the ending of Brightburn ahead.

In theaters on May 24, Brightburn turns the superhero origin story on its head by grotesquely transforming its “Superman” character, Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn) into a harbinger of doom over the world.

The film also stars Elizabeth Banks and David Denman (The Office) as Tori and Kyle Breyer, Brandon’s adoptive human parents who have no idea just “what” they’ve raised together.

Towards the end, Brandon brutally kills both his father (laser-beams his brains out) and mother (dropping her hundreds of feet in the air and sending an airplane to crash into their home). That’s when he officially becomes “Brightburn,” a fear-mongerer who exerts his dominance at will. With no one to stop him, that’s when the nightmare of Brightburn begins.

Brightburn Superman
Jackson A. Dunn stars in 'Brightburn.'

The very end of the movie features a cameo with frequent Gunn collaborator Michael Rooker, who acts as an InfoWars-style personality foretelling the doom of Brightburn into his web streams.

Unfortunately, Rooker’s character is right. Brightburn is to be feared, as are “other superpowered beings among us.” Yup, there are more powered people like Brightburn. But it’s unknown whether they’re evil too, or benevolent enough to stop Brandon from causing any more terror.

According to director David Yarovesky, Brightburn sequels may not only feature new characters, they could arrive in a way you “didn’t expect.”

“One of the things that’s fun about Brightburn is how we introduced it to the world,” the director tells Inverse. “It caught people off guard.”

He adds, “People didn’t know it was coming and it went off like a grenade. If I’m ever so lucky to do something again in the Brightburn universe, I would imagine you would learn about it in the same unexpected way.”

Yarovesky adds that he and Gunn love superhero movies, and that Brightburn is a “labor of love” for the genre.

“This movie is made with a huge heart and love towards superhero movies,” he says. “James and I love superhero movies. But it is made as the anti-superhero movie, the evil superhero movie. This is a mash-up taking the things I love most about horror movies and superhero movies and combining them into one nightmare tornado.”

Brightburn hits theaters on May 24.

Media via Sony Pictures