Netflix’s first foray into blockbuster movie territory is Bright, a new film from director David Ayer that incorporates fantasy genre elements with real world socio-economic issues.
Set in a dystopian, alternate Los Angles where humans are a mid-tier race and orcs are considered scum, Bright follows Daryl Ward (Will Smith), a human police officer, and his new partner, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), the LAPD’s first orc officer. The two are tasked with tracking down a wand that belongs to an evil elf, played by Noomi Rapace. Like humans and orcs, elves have their own placement in the social hierarchy that governs Los Angles. Elves are considered to be the wealthiest, most elite group of beings in Los Angeles, often regarded as the noble members of modern day society.
While Bright has its roots in fantasy, examining a fictional world where creatures exist alongside humans, the focus of the film is the socio-economic turmoil that runs rampant.The way orcs are depicted in the movie and the prejudice they face is supposed to represent how minority groups in our own world are treated, according to Ayer.
Ayer spoke about his film during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, saying that unlike his previous films, including Suicide Squad, this is an R-rated movie that he was able to create without studio interference.
“It’s about a really fucked up LA. I get to explore some really cool social issues,” Ayer said when he was introducing the film. “I was able to do my shit here. I was able to tell a fucking story.”
Rapace echoed Ayer’s comments while speaking to Polygon, adding that the core message of the movie is learning to not judge people before getting to know them.
“Bright is a reminder that it’s very important that we se everything in all of its complexity,” Rapace said. “To not judge too soon, to not say this specific group of people who look a certain way or practice a certain religion are bad guys or witches. Life and situations will shape us, but we shouldn’t judge people too soon. That’s the core of Bright. That’s what we’re trying to tell people.”
Bright will be available to stream on Netflix on Dec. 22