The worst creative decision David Ayer made with Netflix’s big budget fantasy Bright was to treat the material with a completely straight face and direct it as though the movie was set in the same world as the filmmaker’s gritty crime thrillers Harsh Times, Street Kings, End of Watch and Sabotage, albeit in a version of Los Angeles were the magical and mystical is very much real and part of society.
A broad, high concept and patently absurd premise like a bigoted human cop reluctantly teaming up with the LAPD’s first orc officer to track down a magic wand with the power to destroy the world while being pursued by evil elves, corrupt colleagues and the government’s Magical Task Force at the very least deserved a lightness of touch and some humor, instead of being treated with the utmost seriousness.
Indeed, something like Bright needs to be big, bold and fun to maximize the potential of a concept that perfectly lends itself to a series of action-packed fantasy blockbusters that also possess the narrative and storytelling means to shine a light on events relative to modern society, particularly in regards to law enforcement and the sidelining, marginalizing and vitriol directed to certain groups.
Thankfully, then, we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us The Witcher was receiving a spinoff long before Blood Origin was confirmed – that Netflix want to get a Bright sequel rolling again, and the streamer plans for it to be full-blown fantasy. That’s definitely the best approach to the material, because there were plenty of good ideas and hints of unique worldbuilding in the story, but none of them were explored to any sort of meaningful degree, with Ayer continually happy to rely on the tropes and traits of his own back catalogue instead.