Faced with his first real supervillain, an invincible superhero returns to his childhood home defeated — and is forced to reckon with his fear, his identity, and the people he hurt along the way.

We’ve all seen superheroes fall and crumble, but ultimately getting back up stronger than ever to fight their battles. Hero highlights the emotional state of this downfall when a young teenage superhero finally meets his match – which at its lowest point brings out the most human of emotions: Fear. Touching strong issues the film remains grounded in a dramatic sense, but with several comical reliefs and puns to aid the supernatural side of the story.

Hero was funded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s digital company “New Form” as part of their Incubator series. I pitched a few ideas to the company and they dug this one. The idea of a scared superhero was cool to me, a sick kid who miraculously didn’t die but has no Uncle Ben or Jor-El. So now we and New Form will use this short as a proof of concept to hopefully lock down a feature or a series, which I would love to do. That said, it was definitely a priority for me that the story of the short didn’t feel incomplete, or like a cliffhangery pitch material. As much as we had to avoid the big super battles, I was very consciously trying to make it a full meal in a lot of ways, even though it feels like we could pull on a lot of threads and expand the scope of the thing.

Hero also brilliantly builds a strong parallel and metaphorical storyline, that emphasizes on an invincible teenager facing an uncertain fight: cancer. Although not hidden in deep uncoding, the audience is given enough information to build the metaphors through their own thoughts, which is something that brighten’s the viewer’s interaction with the film, and ultimately has them still thinking about it long after it’s done. All this while keeping the main premise well focused and dearly entertaining.