It’s been almost completely lost to the sands of time less than three and a half years after it was first released, but Bright was a massive deal for Netflix at the time. Not only was it the platform’s first major in-house blockbuster, but it was also the most expensive production in company history with a budget in excess of $90 million, while Will Smith became the first major A-list star to headline an action-packed streaming exclusive.
Despite a solid concept, though, Bright was a bit of a bust. It did play incredible well over the holiday season after first being added to the library in December 2017 where it drew in a reported eleven million viewers in its first three days, but the critical consensus wasn’t great. A buddy cop movie where one of the central duo is an orc, revolving around the search for a mystical MacGuffin in a world where magical creatures are an everyday part of life had almost unlimited potential, but director David Ayer plays the whole thing with an entirely straight face, which was definitely the wrong decision.
The Rotten Tomatoes score may have topped out at just 28%, but a sequel was announced before Bright was even released. There’s been very little movement on it since then, but we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us The Witcher was getting a spinoff long before Blood Origin was confirmed – that Will Smith is reportedly back on board, and Bright 2 will fully embrace the fantasy elements with a much bigger budget to boot.
All a second installment needs to do to improve is lean into the premise a bit more, which featured a dragon flying around and a centaur traffic cop, neither of which was even mentioned out loud. If it’s broad, wild and crazy, though, then it could definitely work.