You know…now that I’ve seen the movie “Brightburn”, and truly absorbed it all, I’ve come to the conclusion that the idea of a real life ‘Superman’ crashing to Earth from an alien planet as a baby and being raised by a human couple as their own…
…Might just be one of the most TERRIFYING scenarios in comic book history! Hahaha!
The movie takes place in the here and now, and it is the origin of Superman. A meteor falls to Earth, a couple in a small, rural, town find a baby inside…and they take care of it. Only to find out later that this is no average little boy. By the time he reaches adolescence, his special abilities begin to reveal themselves. So the question is…what now?
Well, if you’re a fan of Superman, the answer is, “He gets raised by a humble family, he learns what it is to be human, and with honesty, integrity, and a true desire to good, he becomes a beacon of light and hope for the rest of humanity.” Right? BUT…what if that wasn’t the case? What if this random alien creature grew up to be a teenager, different from everyone else, bullied by the other kids, still trying to discover his own identity…and he just turned out to be a total friggin’ PSYCHOPATH???
Ladies and gentlemen…”Brightburn”!
Seriously, think about it…you’re dealing with an alien being who can’t be stopped. At all! By ANYBODY! But in the form of a moody teenager who’s prone to the occasional tantrum. Yeah…that’s not going to end well for you. Hehehe, I have to admit to really experiencing a feeling of helplessness while watching this movie. But I liked it! That’s what good thriller/horror is all about, after all.
And while there was a lot to love about this superhero crossover with supernatural horror elements combined, it all could have gone to waste if they had picked the wrong boy for the lead. Luckily, they made an excellent choice by casting fifteen year old actor, Jackson A. Dunn as young ‘Brandon’. He definitely brings a sinister, but easily believable, vibe to the role. And to say that he came off as creepy and unstable in the parts where it was needed most, would be an understatement.
You can almost see the ‘shift’ within him when he’s moving from one side of his civility to the other. And yet, he’s able to bring off an innocence in his performance as well that can be kind of disarming in a lot of ways. It makes you believe that any parent could easily tell themselves, “Not my boy. Look at him. He’s the sweetest kid in the world.
Naturally…’Brandon’ is NOT the sweetest kid in the world! Far from it, in fact!
When asked in an interview how he could play such an evil character, the teen actor says, “I really just tried to put myself in the mindset of the character. You know, in a way, there’s actually a duality. He has two sides…two sides to the same coin. Whereas there’s the unmasked ‘Brandon’, who’s sort of a conflicted, psychopathic, in a way, and a developing adolescent. And then the masked Brandon…who’s basically just a completely psychopathic, cold dead, killer. So it was interesting to kind of dance around that line between the two characters.”
Well, believe me…Jackson did an amazing job in this movie! Adding, “I tried to embrace the subtlety of it because I think that makes it more eerie than over the top.”
Coming from San Diego, California, young Jackson started his professional acting career by going on auditions when he was only ten years old. It had only been a matter of months before he began using his talent to build a resume for himself. Making appearances on shows like “Shameless”, “Henry Danger”, “Legendary Dudas”, “GLOW”, and the sci-fi action drama, “Colony”. He has also been appearing in feature films more often, and even has a short cameo as a young ‘Ant-Man’ in the runaway blockbuster movie, “Avengers: Endgame”! So he’s certainly headed in the right direction!
Even though Jackson admits to being a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he claims to not be too familiar with comic books in general. (Give him time! Hehehe! He’s got about 80 years worth of Superman comics to read before he could be an expert on the loosely based “Brightburn” character!) He says that he always wanted to buy some and get into them, but he never had the time. That’s understandable, since he still has high school and homework to worry about. As well as just taking time out to enjoy being a teenager. You only get one shot at it, after all.
However, being the mature guy that he is, Jackson Dunn answered the question of how he could possibly be able to juggle his work and going to school at the same time…in a manner that I thought was really the best and most intelligent way to frame the idea of it all.
“Probably the most important thing to know about someone who has a dream like this, or Any dream really, is that you’ve gotta make sacrifices. I mean, I’ve missed out on some things for auditions and so on…but sacrifice is the key to success.”
Well said, Jackson! And we wish you all the best in the future! Can’t WAIT to see what you do next!!! “Brightburn 2” maybe??? I’d be down for that!