You’ve heard of it, haven’t you? The buddy-cop dynamic? Ever since Lethal Weapon popularized the genre – for western audiences, at least – in ’87, moviegoers have encountered nine kinds of films featuring mismatched duos in uniform. With Bright, writer-director David Ayer (Training Day, Suicide Squad) is extracting the core elements of the sub-genre to build a fantasy drama in which Will Smith and Joel Edgerton take point as the unlikely leading duo.
Setting up shop at Netflix, Bright is arguably one of the company’s biggest original properties to date, after the online streamer scooped up rights to Max Landis’ spec script in a deal worth upwards of $90 million. That’s a significant vote of confidence from Netflix, and after rolling out the suitably fantastical first teaser, Entertainment Weekly has now unearthed a trio of images featuring Smith, Edgerton and the rest of the gang in action.
Much like End of Watch before it, Ayer’s latest directorial effort has shades of social commentary coursing through its veins, with Joel Edgerton assuming the role of an orc cop drafted into the city’s police force as part of a diversity program. In a world where magic is outlawed, Edgerton’s creature is the first of his kind to don the uniform, which serves up some challenges of its own.
“I am the first orc, under a diversity program, to be allowed into the police force. I’m under investigation already for an incident that involved an orc who should have been apprehended but managed to escape. The feeling is that I looked after my own kind first and neglected to do my job as a result.”
Paired with Will Smith’s human enforcer, Bright‘s leading duo are on the hunt for “an artifact of the Dark Lord’s war against humanity.” Up-and-comer Lucy Fry, who plays the part of Tikka, is said to be instrumental in that search. On the topic of discrimination, Smith stressed that his character is shouldering a burden of his own.
“[Edgerton’s character] has to make it go right, or other orcs won’t have a shot. So he’s taking on the social responsibility of being a good cop, with the weight of his people on his shoulders… I’m getting ridiculed by other members of the police force. In their interpretation, I’m giving him a fair shot, and I should really just be trying to get him off of the force.”
Bright is expected to light up Netflix this December and is one of many, many original projects headed to the streaming platform in 2017. Beyond that vast swathes of programming options (see: House of Cards, Iron Fist, Orange is the New Black), subscribers can also look forward to The Discovery, War Machine and Sand Castle.