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Everything you need to know about Bright, Netflix’s first $100M blockbuster

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An elf, orc and human walk into a futuristic LA

Bright - Nick Jakoby holding a rifle with human LAPD officers behind him Netflix

Yesterday, Netflix debuted the first trailer for Bright, its $100 million blockbuster fantasy movie, at San Diego Comic-Con.

The movie takes place in a futuristic, “fucked-up” version of Los Angeles, according to director David Ayer. There are three classes of citizens: elves, humans and orcs. Like modern society, social hierarchy plays a big role, and above all else, the movie focuses on the class structure in place.

Bright also has magic, explosions, car chases and a missing wand, making it an eclectic and ambitious movie. Even with the trailer, it can be a little confusing trying to pin down what Bright is. On hand at Comic-Con, Ayer and the cast of the film broke it down a little more, trying to make it as fluent as possible for audiences who might still be confused by the concept.

We’ve addressed some of the biggest questions that we had going into the panel and have listed them below — with some more concise answers — to help you out.

Bright will be released on Dec. 22 exclusively on Netflix.

Bright Netflix Netflix

What does bright refer to?

A bright is a user who has magical abilities. Humans, for example, do not in this world, and they cannot possess them. From what we can tell and based on what we heard, the only creatures that have magical abilities are the elves. Ayer added that in this world, the elves are considered the most elite class — the "one percent," as he referred to them.

So about that ... what’s the difference between elves, humans and orcs? Besides the obvious.

One of the key themes in Bright is classism. If the elves are the one percent, they’re your executives. They have all the wealth, the beauty, the luxurious lifestyle, the high-end fashion and the most privileged lifestyle. Then there are humans: ordinary, middle-class citizens who work middle-class jobs and live in middle-class suburbs. Finally, there are the orcs, who are oppressed and seen as the lowest of the low. They are discriminated against in part because of the way they look. Ayer described them as the people who “maintain your roads, serve your food, but without any respect.”

How does that tie into the movie?

One of the key characters in Bright is an orc named Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton). Jakoby is the first orc to ever be appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department and must contend with instant dismissal from his fellow officer, his new partner Scott Ward (Will Smith) and everyone else he encounters.

Because he’s joining the LAPD at a time when other orcs have faced mass discrimination from the force, Jakoby also takes heat from his fellow orcs. During the panel, lead Will Smith joked about how good it felt to be on the other end of the discrimination associated with the LAPD. Although Smith was joking, police activity in Los Angeles and how officers view different species will play a role in the film.

So Jakoby and Ward ... I take it they’re not friends?

Not at first, no. When Smith's character is asked by a fellow officer why he’s working with a diversity hire, he can be heard talking about the importance of showing a united front when they’re being watched. As the trailer continues, it’s clear that Ward has some level of contempt for his new partner — something Jakoby points out, too. But, like every blockbuster, a series of unfortunate events leads to them relying on each other and probably even enjoying the other’s company.

Do we know what this unfortunate event is?

Yes! According to actress Lucy Fry, everything comes down to a wand. A very important wand. The wand is an ancient relic and only those who have gone through the proper training process can wield it. If a human tries to wield it, according to Smith, they’ll die.

We also learned a little bit about why this wand has become such a wanted tool. Noomi Rapace’s character is one of the most elite elves, and she was the one who crafted the wand in the first place, using her own arm to make it. When she pulled it from her body, she lost it, and it ended up in the hands of Tikka, Fry’s character. Tikka doesn’t want to give it back to Rapace’s character because she’ll use it for destruction.

Somehow, Jakoby and Ward stumble upon both Tikka and the wand, sending them on their adventure.

So Noomi Rapace’s character is evil?

Although she is the antagonist in the film, Rapace said her character doesn’t view herself that way. The actress suggested that her character is “trying to create something beautiful, but her methods are quite vicious.”

OK, I think I've got this.

It’s pretty straightforward, really.

Last question: When does it come out?

The movie will be available to stream exclusively on Netflix on Dec. 22. One could say the future looks bright.

Did you really?

I’m so sorry.