Netflix Confirms Bright 2 is Happening
Netflix all but confirmed that a sequel to big-budget action-fantasy Bright was on the cards shortly before the movie was released, but now it's official, and Bright 2 is happening.
Will Smith and Joel Edgerton will reprise their roles as the mismatched cops in an alternative modern day where magical creatures have been integrated into society. Edgerton plays Nick Jakoby, the first Orc on the police force and his paired with Smith's gruff yet sympathetic Detective Daryl Ward. Directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad), critics haven't been kind to Bright, but according to Netflix, more than eleven million people have watched the movie since its release.
Netflix has never made viewing figures data available, in the past, they have thrown out a few abridged numbers, but they have made it their policy to keep viewership figures a trade secret. For the most part, the secrecy makes sense; the Netflix model is different from TV as you might discover any given show or film years after it was released. However, as Netflix continues to ramp up the external marketing, opening weekend numbers are becoming more critical.
I love that Netflix isn't conforming to traditional genre-friendly material and is doing things that mainstream Hollywood wouldn't go anywhere near. The creative freedom afforded to filmmakers working under the Netflix banner is a double-edged sword. The filmmakers get to make the movie they want, but that occasionally leaves us with a slightly unpolished end product. The Adam Sandler comedies such as The Do-Over or The Ridiculous Six feel like rough cuts shown to studio executives before dishing out a long list of cuts and reshoots.
Had Bright been released in cinemas and it made enough money to garner a follow-up, I doubt I would go out of my way to see the sequel on the big screen. However, we live in the Netflix era and hitting play on your iPad, remote control or even your phone, isn't the same commitment as going to the cinema. By the time Bright 2 arrives, I'll be curious enough to watch the first half an hour to see if it's any good, and a fair amount of the people who viewed the first one will be at least interested to see if the sequel is an improvement.
Bright isn't a terrible movie by any stretch, Smith is always watchable, and I hope the sequel affords him the opportunity to let that natural charisma shine. That said, Bright isn't a great movie either and makes for a frustrating watch as its potential is immense. On the upside, David Ayer is writing the sequel, and Bright writer Max Landis has (currently) no involvement in the story.