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Put On Your Shades Haters, Because the Future is Looking ‘Bright’

The sequel to David Ayer’s divisive Netflix blockbuster has found a writer.
By  · Published on May 8th, 2018

The sequel to David Ayer’s divisive blockbuster has found a writer.

Admit it. Most of you are looking forward to a Bright sequel as much as I am. Netflix’s buddy cop action/fantasy extravaganza was a lot better than most film critics and naysayers would have you believe, but you already know this as you’re probably among the army of people who helped make the $90 million blockbuster a colossal success. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Still, one of the most interesting takeaways from Bright was how it highlighted the gulf between critics and audiences. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a 27 percent “rotten” rating based on critic reviews, but the audience score sits at an admirable 87 percent. Our very own Rob Hunter was a voice of reason from the start, though. We should always listen to Rob.

11 million people tuned in to watch the first movie upon its release, making it the most-watched original movie for the streaming giant at the time. Between the viewership figures and audience score, it’s clear that Bright’s spell swooned enough people to make a sequel inevitable. The follow-up was confirmed back in January, but the wheels are now in motion to make the second coming of Will Smith and Joel Edgerton’s human/orc cop duo a reality. Praise the Dark Lord.

Following the departure of writer of Max Landis over alleged creative differences with director David Ayer, THR reports that the sequel has tapped Evan Spiliotopoulos, who wrote The Huntsman: Winter’s War and Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, to pen the script. Ayer is back in the director’s chair for the new instalment as well. No release date has been confirmed yet, but knowing it’s happening gives us something look forward to. Who’s with me?

The Bright universe has a fascinating mythology that Spiliotopoulos can sink his teeth into. He’s already demonstrated a knack for writing fantasy fare that resonates with audiences, and this coupled with Ayer’s knack for telling gritty crime stories is a promising creative pairing. I’m excited to see how he expands upon concepts that were introduced in the first film, such as the ancient war between humans and the Dark Lord’s minions. And dragons, of course. There’s always room for dragons in any movie.

Bright didn’t rewrite the buddy cop rulebook by any means. We’ve also seen several police procedurals merged with fantastical elements in the past courtesy of movies and TV shows like The Hidden, Dead Heat, The X-Files, Alien Nation, and the criminally short-lived Special Unit 2. Bright isn’t even the best of that bunch, but it delivered a fun flick of a similar ilk on a blockbuster scale and there’s always room for more cop capers with monsters. While I understand that some people had their grievances, there’s too much potential in the Bright world to not explore it further.

The sequel is also an opportunity to say something interesting about society right now. The first film touched upon racial politics with the thoughtfulness and subtlety of a hammer blow to the cranium (“Fairy lives don’t matter.”). Landis and Ayer tried to provide some biting commentary, but let’s just say that it fell a little flat. That said, what else did we expect from a movie that was co-produced by a company called Trigger Warning Entertainment? However, should the sequel opt to explore similar themes, there’s plenty of room in this universe for satire.

But most of us won’t be tuning into Bright 2 for thought-provoking social commentary. If it succeeds in that regard then more power to it, but this is still a sequel to Bright at the end of the day. Most of us will be watching to see Will Smith and Joel Edgerton fight elves, orcs, and dragons. And with the litany of legends and folklore out there to mine from for fresh ideas, there are endless possibilities for new creatures to appear and mayhem to ensue accordingly. Why not bring in some centaurs and leprechauns as well? Let those imaginations soar. If the sequel embraces the ridiculousness of its premise, Bright‘s future will only get brighter.

Hopefully the sequel is an improvement on the first movie, but should the film garner the same fiery reaction its predecessor did, that’ll be fun too. Between the scathing reviews, the polarizing debates (and occasional arguments) on Film Twitter, and Ayer jokingly responding to critics who lambasted the movie, the post-Bright internet was an interesting place for a brief moment in time. Sometimes it’s nice to kick back and watch the world burn, and David Ayer movies are grenades that inspire explosive reactions. Whether the sequel is good or bad remains to be seen, but I’ll be bringing marshmallows to the party just in case.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.