Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, and director David Ayer will be re-teaming for Netflix's Bright 2, the forthcoming sequel to 2017's Bright. Bright introduced audiences to an alternate present day where humans lived and worked alongside magical creatures like orcs, elves, and fairies, exploring how these different races have come to co-exist in a world where magic is commonplace.
Bright was met with plenty of negativity from critics when it debuted on Netflix in December 2017. Reviews pointed out the film shied away from dealing with the implications of racism and unsavory social stratification that came with magical creatures living with humans while also failing to present any new or interesting ideas about the magical lore it was introducing. Despite the critical trepidation, it was reported Bright received over 11 million views during its first three days on Netflix, acting as a show of support for the film's stars, Smith and Edgerton, as well as the story being told.
Netflix officially announced a Bright sequel was happening in January 2018 with the release of a tongue-in-cheeky announcement video featuring two unnamed orcs auditioning to be in the sequel. With production on Bright 2 beginning soon, let's take a look at every aspect of the sequel that has been confirmed, including the release date, who is returning, who is directing, and what the sequel's story will be.
Bright 2 Release Date Info
In August 2018, Screen Rant reported Will Smith would begin filming on Bright 2 and the forthcoming Suicide Squad sequel after he had filmed Bad Boys 3. At the time, it was believed filming on Bad Boys 3 would run from November 2018 to March 2019 and Bright 2 filming would begin in March in Germany. Bad Boys 3's filming schedule was apparently delayed and filming ended up wrapping in April 2019. This likely contributed to Bright 2 being pushed back (although it may not have been the only reason). The Wrap reported in late February that filming on Bright 2 is now slated to begin in July (and also that Smith had exited the Suicide Squad sequel because of scheduling conflicts).
It's still unclear why Bright 2's filming start date was delayed from March to July and if Smith's availability was the sole reason it got pushed so far back. As of late June, it still looks like Bright 2 will begin filming in July. With this in mind, filming will likely wrap on Bright 2 in early fall and the film's post-production schedule could see Bright 2 released in 2020, although Netflix may hold it back for a Christmas release like the original.
Will Smith & Joel Edgerton Are Returning For Bright 2
When Netflix ordered Bright 2, it was also reported that Smith and Edgerton would return. Before the Bright 2 leads could begin filming, however, they had some other big projects to complete. At the time Bright 2 was confirmed, Smith had a busy schedule: between December 2017 and June 2019, he has completed filming on and/or promotional duties related to Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin, the animated film Spies in Disguise, Gemini Man, and Bad Boys 3. As for Edgerton, that time period included filming and/or promoting Red Sparrow, Gringo, Boy Erased, and The King.
Related: Every Upcoming Will Smith Movie
Bright 2 Story Details
Bright's story begins on the day seasoned LAPD officer Daryl Ward (Smith) is paired with the division's first orc recruit, Nick Jakoby (Edgerton) and is tasked with training him — much to his chagrin. Things go from standard to intense really quickly when they respond to a disturbance at a safe house for a magical extremist group known as the Shield of Light, putting them in the middle of a battle with the Inferni, who are attempting to bring about the return of the Dark Lord. Over the course of the night, Ward and Jakoby must protect an elf named Tikka (Lucy Fry) while also fending off the magical gangs who want the powerful wand for themselves. In the end, Ward and Jakoby stop the Dark Lord, hide the wand's whereabouts and earn official commendations for their bravery and remain partners while Tikka slips off.
Bright 2's story is expected to pick up where Bright left off while also going deeper into the magic and lore introduced in the first film. No official plot details have been confirmed but Edgerton did tease the plot in broad strokes in a Yahoo interview in February:
"All I can probably assume is that most sequels go a little bit bigger the second time around so I think we’re going to tune the dial up to eleven. There may be a slightly more international flavor about Bright 2, we might go outside the boundaries of Downton Los Angeles."
It has been hinted in past reports filming would happen in Germany but no solid leads on filming locations, in the U.S. or otherwise, have been confirmed yet.
David Ayer Is Directing Bright 2
Director David Ayer will return to direct Bright 2. Ayer will also share writing duties with Beauty and the Beast scribe Evan Spiliotopoulos. Ayer and Spiliotopoulos are taking over as writers on the film after Bright screenwriter Max Landis was not re-hired for the sequel for reasons which have become more obvious as time has gone on, despite no official reason ever being given from Netflix or Landis.
Since wrapping on Bright, Ayer has spent his time working on The Tax Collector, which involves him re-teaming with Fury actor Shia LaBeouf to tell the story of a Los Angeles tax collector in the city's ganglands whose livelihood and family is put in danger when an old threat returns to town. Ayer has also been hard at work executive producing and filming the pilot for the upcoming Fox crime drama Deputy, starring Stephen Dorff as Bill Hollister, who works in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department and is promoted to the interim sheriff for the city when his superior is killed in the line of duty.
There Isn't A Bright 2 Trailer Yet
A trailer for Bright 2 has yet to be released since filming won't begin until July 2019. Based on a typical production schedule, filming on Bright 2 will likely wrap in early fall 2019 and a first-look teaser could be released in winter 2019 or early 2020, shortly before the film premieres on Netflix. The streaming giant is notorious for releasing trailers for upcoming original content approximately one month out from a scheduled premiere date (a decidedly different approach to a theatrically-released film), although as a major release, they could eschew this for Bright 2. Still, don't expect footage straight away.