Christopher Nolan might not be a fan of Netflix’s movie policies, but the company makes original films with budgets larger than some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. It’s most expensive to date - $90 million fantasy Bright – just had its first full trailer unveiled at San Diego Comic Con, and it looks like it has potential.
Set in an alternate version of modern day Los Angeles, the various mythical creatures populating the city, such as orcs and elves, make Bright look like a movie version of the Shadowrun games (minus the cyberpunk element). The fact it’s also a police drama that deals with crime, gangs, and magic also brings to mind the long-running tabletop/video game series.
The story sees LAPD cop Will Smith reluctantly team up with an Orc police officer. The pair discover a dangerous magic wand, which is described as “like a new killer weapon that grants wishes.” Dealing with issues such as culture clashes, mismatched cops, and racism, those of certain age may also recognize similarities between Bright and the Alien Nation TV show/movies, just with fantasy beings instead of "Newcomers."
Bright reunites Smith with Suicide Squad director David Ayer. Hopefully, the combination will produce a better outcome this time. Netflix is known for giving its directors total creative freedom, so perhaps Ayer can redeem himself.
The screenplay comes from Max Landis, who wrote the critically panned Victor Frankenstein and American Ultra, though he was also responsible for Netflix’s Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (based on Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy writer Douglas Adam’s novel), which I enjoyed.
We’ll find out just how good, or bad, Bright turns out when it hits Netflix on December 22