Despite scathing reviews, Bright will be a franchise. While reports swirled last week that Netflix was already eying a Bright sequel, the streaming service made it official today, confirming that Will Smith and Joel Edgerton are “expected” to reprise their lead roles in Bright 2. Additionally, while the first film originated with a Max Landis screenplay that was then sold to Netflix, the Bright sequel will be written and directed by David Ayer, who helmed the first movie and has written films like Training Day and U-571, as well as films he directed like Fury and Suicide Squad. Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless will produce. It doesn’t sound like Landis will be involved in the sequel at all.
Bright is set in an alternate present day populated by disparate races like orcs, fairies, and elves, who live side-by-side with humans. The first film revolved around the first orc cop (Edgerton) teaming up with Will Smith’s police officer, as the two stumbled upon an evil elvish plot to bring about the return of a dark lord or something or other. It was a surprisingly contained film, taking place in just a few locations with lots of gunplay and cringe-inducing banter between Edgerton and Smith.
Bright isn’t the worst movie ever made, but it was incredibly boring and the “banter” between the two cops felt way too forced. There’s certainly an opportunity for some world building, so I’m ever-so-slightly interested to see what Ayer comes up with for a story this time around.
But reviews didn’t seem to matter for Netflix, as the streaming service claims Bright is the highest-viewed Netflix film ever in its first week of release, and they note that it’s more popular internationally than domestically—which may explain the greenlight for the sequel.
No timetable is given but it sounds like Ayer may very well be done with the DCEU. He was attached to write and direct a Gotham City Sirens movie but there’s been no public movement on that front, and Ayer was pretty candid about receiving more creative freedom with Netflix than he did with Warner Bros. on Suicide Squad, which was tinkered with significantly in post-production.
Watch the Bright 2 announcement teaser below.