Last night, Oscar viewers were blindsided by what looked like the trailer for an unfamiliar Will Smith summer blockbuster action vehicle — only to see the words “Only on Netflix” at the end of the clip.
That film was Bright, which Netflix purchased nearly a year ago for $90 million, including $3 million alone for screenwriter Max Landis (Chronicle, Victor Frankenstein), “one of the largest spec deals for a writer in years,” according to Deadline. David Ayer (Suicide Squad) will direct.
Netflix released the Oscars teaser on Youtube this morning.
“Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves, and fairies have been co-existing since the beginning of time,” its description reads, “Bright is genre-bending action movie that follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward (Will Smith) and Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), embark on a routine patrol night and encounter a darkness that will ultimately alter the future and their world as they know it.”
A lot of folks in Polygon’s audience will be familiar with the setting of a hard and gritty urban fantasy that Bright appears to be going for from games franchises like Shadowrun.
Smith, Edgerton, Ayer (and Ike Barinholtz, who played the corrupt Belle Reve guard, Griggs) make this something of a Suicide Squad reunion, although Netflix’s purchasing of the rights to Bright were made at a time when prospects of the DC Expanded Universe villain-centric film were still riding high on buzz generated by its explosive San Diego Comic Con teaser. The movie’s cast also includes Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Edgar Ramirez (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Zero Dark Thirty) and comedian Margaret Cho.
In March of 2016, Deadline said Bright could mark the beginning of a new franchise. It is expected to launch on Netflix in December.