UPDATE: The film’s official Facebook page shared 3 first-look images from the film (1 above, 2 below), and also teased the film’s story set up with the below post:
Today, the South Central Los Angeles Police Force announced that Nicolas Jakoby, the first ever Orc Police Officer, joined the department solidifying their commitment to diversity and their acceptance of all communities and races. Jakoby will be partnering with the esteemed Human Officer Scott Ward and providing much needed insight into the Orc community in the Los Angeles area. “Orcs have been a part of our society for over a millennia and we welcome all who are ready and willing to serve on the force. Jakoby will be an excellent partner to Ward,” said Captain Perez.
At least we now know the roles that Will Smith and Joel Edgerton are playing in the movie.
Our initial post published earlier this morning follows below, after the images…
Even after Netflix premiered a first teaser for its Will Smith, Joel Edgerton crime/fantasy/sci-fi movie “Bright,” just over a week ago, many were still left scratching their heads, wondering what this movie is really all about.
Full details on “Bright” have been kept underwraps since the project was first announced, other than a previous circulating description of the film as a futuristic cop thriller with fantastical elements, set in a world where orcs and fairies live among humans; essentially another Will Smith interracial buddy-action-adventure movie with fantastical elements (think the “Men in Black” franchise of movies); although in “Bright” he appears to be partnered up with an orc played by Edgerton, based on the little we’ve seen of and know about the David Ayer-directed film so far.
Over the weekend, screenwriter Max Landis shared a few more details on “Bright” in an interview with GQ magazine titled “Wait, So What Is Will Smith’s New Netflix Movie, Bright?”
“It’s a fantasy film,” Landis says in the piece. “Dungeons and Dragons, Lord of the Rings, Warcraft, Game of Thrones—it’s that type of world, American mythic archetypal fantasy. But it takes place right now… Those worlds, whatever they may have been, were biblical times… Everyone knows there was a dark lord and he rose and he fell and all the races united. Now you’re you, I’m me, that woman over there is a centaur and it’s not a big deal. They’re not a big percentage of the population, there’s word of them becoming rarer and rarer and getting all sorts of hereditary diseases. But you know what? Until then, there’s a centaur billionaire, there’s a centaur CEO. Everyone knows orcs. Everyone knows goblins. Everyone knows elves and dwarves. All of these various races that live among us.”
“Now you’re not going to get attacked by a dragon,” Landis continues. “You want to see a dragon? Go to the L.A. zoo. You get to see a dragon, a griffin, a wyvern. All the animals of fantasy exist. No one uses magic anymore. It still exists, but no one knows how to use it. Wands are incredibly rare.”
He finishes with: “Bright is ultimately about two guys who get themselves into a bad situation and need to rely on each other to get out of it… It’s a movie about brotherhood, friendship, and race.”
So… it appears that the film exists in a world where various fantastical creatures exist mostly peacefully among human beings, and none of this is in any way a big deal. The film takes place in the “present day” and all this weirdness isn’t weird. It’s very normal. Some of these fantasy creatures may be on the verge of becoming extinct thanks to “all sorts of hereditary diseases.” But how much of a plot point this is within the overall story, we don’t know, because he doesn’t say.
And within this fantasy world set in the now, at the center of the narrative is essentially an inter-species buddy-action-adventure storyline, following a man (Smith) and an orc (Edgerton), who look like police officers based on what we’ve seen of the film thus far, who get themselves into a pile of trouble and have to work together to get out of it.
When Landis says it’s about “brotherhood, friendship and race,” a question that begs to be asked is whether he’s talking about race, the social construct, or the human race versus the other non-human species that exist in this fantasy world he’s created.
Did any of the above clarify what the film is about for you? Has Landis only further muddled the waters, or is a clearer picture forming? Although one has to wonder why they’ve being so secretive about the project, and continue to be for the most part. Unless it’s in some way connected to some other cinematic universe and they don’t want to give it away this early.
Read the full GQ magazine piece here.
Netflix picked up the film last year, paying a reported $90 million for it. We assume they plan to release the movie both in theaters and on its SVOD platform as they’ve done other films they acquired. A December premiere date is eyed.
The previously-released first teaser is embedded below: