Netflix has really created a name for itself in recent years for creating high-quality, serialized programming that has been giving traditional television a run for its money. In addition, the video streaming has been making concerted inroads to broaden the scope of its already growing catalog of films, including the announcement this past week that Netflix picked up the rights to director Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.
Joining Scorcese is director David Ayer, best known for helming End of Watch and Suicide Squad and writing Training Day. This December, Netflix is debuting Bright, a film directed by Ayer, with a script written by Max Landis (Victor Frankenstein, Chronicle). Featuring Will Smith, who starred in Ayer’s Suicide Squad, Joel Edgerton, and Noomi Rapace, Bright follows two police partners, Smith, a human, and Edgerton, an orc, who live in a world where elves, orcs, and fairies have coexisted with humans since time immemorial. How they interact with one another on the job and what occurs on a run-of-the-mill patrol could mean the fate of the world.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t have all sorts of side-eye about this one. Landis’ Green Valley series for Image Comics has been a joy, but his recent film fare, especially Victor Frankenstein, either has been a bit on the lackluster side or has not received the momentum it needs to flourish when pitted against other movies in less-than-appealing release spots. And while I can’t deny that Suicide Squad made a dump truck full of cash, Ayer’s big 2016 blockbuster never connected with me on any level.
Still, Ayer’s Training Day and Fury are infinitely rewatchable and Will Smith, despite the less-than-stellar hiccups of Collateral Beauty and Focus, is a phenomenal performer. Further, the premise—a world in which orcs, elves, and fairies have always lived with humans, into the present day—is novel and worth the price of Netflix admission itself. In what little footage we see, the makeup and special effects have a gritty creepiness about them that marries the real and the ethereal, so that’s a plus in Bright’s favor.
Bright premieres in December.
From the official press release:
Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time, this action-thriller directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch, writer of Training Day) follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward, a human (Will Smith), and Jakoby, an orc (Joel Edgerton), embark on a routine night patrol that will alter the future of their world as they know it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything.
The Netflix original film stars Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Edgar Ramirez, Ike Barinholtz, Enrique Murciano, Jay Hernandez, Andrea Navedo, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz, Margaret Cho, Brad William Henke, Dawn Olivieri, and Kenneth Choi. The film is directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis. David Ayer, Eric Newman, and Bryan Unkeless serve as producers.