Streaming giant Netflix has already ordered up Bright 2 aka. a sequel to Bright, their $90 million cops-and-orcs fantasy starring Will Smith. Suicide Squad‘s David Ayer directed Bright, from a script by Max Landis. Set in an alternate present-day LA, the film combines gritty cop movie tropes with fantasy elements. The story concerns a human cop teaming with the force’s first orc officer to protect earth from bad guys who are after a magic wand.
Once known as the company that mailed you used DVDs, Netflix nowadays has established itself as a legitimate content producer. Emmy-winning shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards first made Netflix big players in TV. In 2017, the company accelerated its push to also compete with major studios in feature film production. Putting Bright together with Will Smith let the majors know Netflix isn’t messing around.
The audience has yet to render a verdict on Bright, which doesn’t hit Netflix for a few more days. However, Bloomberg reports that Netflix has nonetheless already ordered up a Bright sequel. Though Will Smith tends to shy away from sequels, Bloomberg says he will come back for Bright 2.
What might a hypothetical Bright sequel be about? Speaking at the film’s SDCC panel in July, David Ayer said a sequel would likely delve deeper into the history of the story’s elf, orc, and fairy races. In Bright, Joel Edgerton plays the orc Nick Jakoby, who becomes Will Smith’s partner (and drives Smith nuts with his orcish music). Noomi Rapace plays the dark elf Leilah, who wants control of the wand at the center of the story. Fairies are less human in this particular world and more pest-like. In the final Bright trailer, we even saw Will Smith angrily beating a fairy to death with a broom. Perhaps Bright 2 will be about getting justice for the fairy Will Smith brutally murdered. (#JusticeforFairy.)
Netflix reportedly spent north of $90 million picking up Bright, outbidding Warner Bros. and MGM. At least going by the trailers, David Ayer and company spent the money well. The movie looks truly big-budget in terms of effects, lighting, and other technical specs. The make-up effects on orc Joel Edgerton are particularly impressive. And in fact, the movie has been shortlisted by the Oscars for a Best Make-Up and Hairstyling nomination.
In their most big-studio move yet, Netflix had a Bright sequel in the pipeline prior to the first movie’s release. It won’t be long before we’re hearing about a potential Bright expanded universe, probably involving Johnny Depp.