Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time, this action-thriller directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch, writer of Training Day) follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward, a human (Will Smith), and Jakoby, an orc (Joel Edgerton), embark on a routine night patrol that will alter the future of their world as they know it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything.

Photo by Jamie Broadnax

On Thursday, July 20th the cast and crew of Bright held a press conference at San Diego Comic Con to discuss the story behind the film and the characters motives in this story.  If you want to get a sense of the tone of this movie, Joel Edgerton describes Bright is akin to films like District 9.  It should also be mentioned that the elves in this story are the 1% and there are socio-economic dynamics that come into play within this story.

Will Smith plays officer Scott Ward and says the following about his character:

“It was spectacular for me as an African american cop that was racist against the first orc on the force. there was a flip of those social concepts and in a lot of those movies as a Black dude you don’t get to see those movies where you’re the racist, you just don’t get to see that”

Photo by Jamie Broadnax

There was also an in-depth conversation about the Netflix model and how it provides creative liberties for filmmakers.  To paraphrase Smith he states that the Netflix can make a hard rated-R film for hundreds of millions of dollars and studios can’t do that, and usually you have to broaden an audience and make it PG-13.  So based on the subscription, they can make anything for any number based on what their users want to see.  So it gives you freedom to be more creative. 

I asked Will Smith about how the film will handle police state sanctioned violence that we currently see happening and if in anyway that would be handled in this story.

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Smith states:

David he doesn’t find the necessity to be delicate with those issues.  This is a film about entertainment and those undertones of the film are for people to think about but not make any judgement about it.  There’s a scene when the police are trying to subdue the orc and Ward says “I need to know if are you a cop first or an orc first”

Will Smith went further on to say it was really bizarre for him to be on the other side.  He also mentioned during ride alongs it gave him a different perspective seeing complexities on the other side.  Ayer says its a movie that is supposed to entertain and his hope is that through using metaphors about life, that people will open their eyes a bit.

The Netflix original film stars Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Edgar Ramirez, Ike Barinholtz, Enrique Murciano, Jay Hernandez, Andrea Navedo, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz, Margaret Cho, Brad William Henke, Dawn Olivieri, and Kenneth Choi. The film is directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis. David Ayer, Eric Newman, and Bryan Unkeless serve as producers. The film will be released December 2017 on Netflix.