“Why do Orcs always gotta be the bad guys?”
After hitting us with a three-minute Bright featurette last week, Netflix is back with the film’s second official trailer.
Bright reunites Will Smith with his Suicide Squad director, David Ayer in a film that looks like it could have been cut together from Suicide Squad’s B-roll. Bright feels like a mashup of two movies in Ayer’s filmography: Suicide Squad and End of Watch. The latest trailer blends Suicide Squad’s candy-colored CGI look, frenetic action, and intricate practical makeup effects with the gritty urban landscape Ayers brought to the screen in End of Watch — things get so gritty that America’s sweetheart, Will Smith, drops multiple F-bombs. Bright’s urban-fantasy hybrid concept doesn’t make for your run-of-the-mill big budget picture but the glimpses we’ve so seen so far have me intrigued. Take a look.
Bright’s latest trailer doesn’t reveal anything we didn’t already know from the earlier trailer and featurette. What this trailer does show us are plenty of cool action sequences and some creative urban-fantasy visuals. When people complain that the unoriginal Transformers and Marvel movies are overtaking Hollywood like sprouting weeds, we can point them towards Bright.
A lot of Suicide Squad’s “problems” are attributed to studio meddling and based on Ayer’s overall body of work, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for that mess. Netflix has a reputation for giving filmmakers the creative freedom to pursue ideas that studios wouldn’t approve. Without Warner Bros. reining him in, perhaps Ayers can make a genre movie his own way. Throw in the talented cast that Ayers is working with and the film looks even more promising. Aside from Will Smith, Bright stars, Noomi Rapace (Prometheus), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Edgar Ramírez (Point Break), and Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad).
With Bright, Netflix is taking a huge swing and regardless of whether they whiff or knock it out of the park, I’m excited to see how it all plays out. Bright is a $90 million production, features one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and it tells an urban-fantasy story. Smith is no longer the box office equivalent of a sure bet. His name recognition will help sell Bright but he’s not a lock to single-handedly elevate the film to the highs of Suicide Squad which did poorly critically but succeeded financially. Suicide Squad had the force of the DCEU behind it which includes two lead-in movies, an off-the-charts marketing budget, and the buzz surrounding the debut of Harley Quinn and Jared Leto’s new take one on The Joker. Now Smith is asked to sell a movie featuring an Orc cop and I’m guessing most moviegoers couldn’t even tell you what an Orc is.
What’s working in Bright’s favor is Netflix’s industry-leading streaming infrastructure. Netflix is in a lot of homes and they can flood user’s splash screens with Bright promos at the push of a button. Plus, Netflix knows all our streaming habits and can cherry pick their target audience — they have a list of everyone who has watched both Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series and Dennis Hopper’s 1988 LA cop drama, Colors.
Unlike a theatrical release, Bright’s success won’t be measured in box office dollars. Netflix already has its subscriber’s money, and Bright will sit on their servers for users to discover from now until a zombie apocalypse ends civilization. Bright will be considered successful if it draws in more customers, keeps current subscribers happy, and takes a seat at the pop culture table alongside other Netflix hits like Black Mirror, Master of None, and Stranger Things. With its strong cast, a $90 million budget, and Netflix’s backing, Bright’s future looks promising.
Bright is coming to Netflix December 22nd.
Here is Bright’s official synopsis.
Set in an alternate present-day, 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 played by Will Smith, and Jakoby, an orc played by Joel Edgerton) who embark on a routine patrol night that will ultimately alter the future as their world knows it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything.