Director David Ayer is best known for gritty cop dramas like Training Day (which he wrote) and End of Watch (which he wrote and directed). Yet recently his filmography has begun to diversify a little bit. In 2014, Ayer released both the action mystery film Sabotage with Arnold Schwarzenegger and war film Fury starring Brad Pitt. And just last year his exploration went even further into the science fiction fantasy genre with DC Comics superhero film Suicide Squad.
It must have gone really well because Ayer is now re-teaming with Suicide Squad actor Will Smith for the new fantasy film Bright from Chronicle writer Max Landis. Debuting this December on Netflix, Bright is a cop procedural set in a world populated not only with humans but also fantastical, mythical creatures. The story follows a human detective (Smith) who is forced to work with an Orc (Joel Edgerton) to fight evil forces intent on seizing control of an all-powerful wand. Bright will combine Ayer's usual fare of cop thrillers with his more recent interest in the fantasy genre.
The first teaser trailer, which released tonight during a commercial break for the 89th annual Academy Awards, looks a lot like End of Watch, until you get to the more fantastical elements toward the end. Smith brandishes a sword, Edgerton goes to town with a shotgun, and Noomi Rapace and Lucy Fry make appearances as some kind of fairy or elf creatures. The short teaser doesn't give too much away, instead giving just enough to make viewers very curious.
Netflix spent more than $90 million on Bright in a two-week bidding battle that the streaming network eventually won. This included $3 million for the script and $45 million to shoot the picture, leaving the rest for the actors and the backend residuals they would have gotten had the film premiered in theaters. That figure means Bright is Netflix's biggest project so far with big names attached, so the streaming network is playing the long game when it comes to promotion.
Indeed, introducing the film during the Academy Awards is a big deal, not just for a fantasy film like Bright but also for a streaming network like Netflix. Gone are the days where major motion pictures go straight to theaters, as Netflix now tries to prove it can also compete in the big-budget film landscape. Whether their ambitious endeavor will work and capture viewers' attention come December remains to be seen.
Source: Bright Film