The Will Smith and Joel Edgerton duo will return in a sequel to Bright, Netflix has confirmed today. David Ayer will again be directing, and with two returning producers, much of the core team remains unchanged — with one exception.
Screenwriter Max Landis has been left out of the team, and David Ayer will be writing the script. Ayer recently wrote Suicide Squad, which had its own plethora of problems. But he also wrote Training Day, which is quite in line with what Bright aims to be in tone.
The urban fantasy slash buddy cop film attempted to use an LA setting full of orcs and magic to explore racism and stereotyping. But much of it was very on the nose, due in no small part to the writing.
We had previously heard that Netflix already wanted a Bright sequel, and I didn’t exactly doubt it — but it did come at a weird time. We had just seen a surge in confidence after Disney pulled a similar stunt.
Rian Johnson had been given a whole trilogy of Star Wars films, the news of which broke right before The Last Jedi opened in cinemas, leading everyone to believe the latest Star Wars movie was going to be so amazing it was the future of the franchise. The thought that Bright was getting in on that sweet, speculative confidence — while perhaps not 100% sure about the sequel — had crossed my mind.
But that’s all academic now, because despite review scores, Bright went on to be successful. It was the highest viewed Netflix film within the first week of its release and is the #1 movie on the streaming service globally. 11 million US viewers watched the movie within the first three days, not including those watching on computers or mobile devices.
With the amount of promotion pumped into it, it would want to be that successful. Better writing will be a key factor in whether or not the sequel can be known for quality as well as decent numbers.