Up until now, Netflix has had a hard time establishing a cohesive identity as an independent studio. Their distribution model has been steeped in controversy and their original films have been inconsistent at best. However, that dynamic just might switch with David Ayer’s Bright, an incredible looking fantasy action flick steeped in social commentary. Ayer premiered both a new trailer and clip while he and the cast answered questions about this ambitious new film.
Both the trailer and clip tease the large scope of Bright. This is a realistic Los Angeles cops and robbers tale that just so happens to be inhabited by fantasy creatures. Will Smith’s Scott Ward is forced to team up with Joel Edgerton’s Nick Jakoby, the first ever Ork police officer. Their chemistry seems pulled right out of Bad Boys or Men in Black but the world feels distinctly Ayer. Anti-Magic Graffiti fills the walls, bullets fly in all directions and nobody is afraid to drop a few F-Bombs. The clip showed a spectacular gas station shootout that displayed action unlike any other Netflix movie before.
Here are a few insights we picked up from the panel
- Ayer describes Bright’s LA as “a world of walls and segregation.” Humans act as a middle class, with Elves being the upper 1% and Orks being reduced to second class grunt workers.
- A “bright” is a magic user.
- Everybody was very pleased by the freedom Netflix provided. Ayer was allowed to actually shoot in LA, the crew were allowed to find the creative flow of the movie as they went and there was no interference with the script. Ayer described the experience as being similar to filming his first low budget film, Harsh Times.
- Smith had fun with the idea of an African American officer finally getting to be the racist one.
- Smith is a strong proponent of the Netflix model. He described the theater/streaming dynamic as similar to seeing a stage play vs watching a film. It’s a different but equally valuable experience.
- Noomi Rapace, who plays the film’s villain, told a story about Smith’s impeccable attitude. He was wide awake and ready to work, even during a 3 AM shoot that had already run for hours on end.
- Edgerton said that it was hard not to get into the character with the practical foam makeup covering his face, which he described as a “couch.”
- Max Landis dedicated the screenplay to Ayer, chasing Ayer’s agent to pass it along to him.
- Everybody seems incredibly inspired by the film’s originality, with Smith describing it as a “beautiful snapshot of the modern world.”
Bright Streams on Netflix on December 22nd.