Netflix had their first Hall H presentation today, which started with a Death Note panel (you can read about it here) and closed with Bright, a panel which was filled with tons of energy thanks to David Ayer’s weird masculine posturing (my dude curses like he’s getting two quarters per), Terry Crewes’ general excitement for the project (he’s not in it, he just loved moderating) and Will Smith’s infectious charm.
The first big thing we saw was the film’s trailer, which you can see for yourself. I kind of love how blatantly weird it is. Open with Will Smith murdering an annoying faerie like it’s no big deal? Sure! Orcs and elves and a plot revolving around a magic wand that grants wishes? Why the hell not!
The panel just made it sound even weirder. We learned that Lucy Fry and Noomi Rapace play Brights (a type of Elf, I think). Rapace is a full-blown Bright, while Fry is a less-developed Bright who has a magic wand Rapace wants so she can, I dunno, rule the world.
We also learned that Elves are the world’s one-percenters while orcs are on the social low end of things (you can probably get this from the trailer). Humans are somewhere in between. As will Smith put it, it was “great to play an African American police officer who found someone to be racist against.” It was funny if you were there.
Also funny if you were there: David Ayer. He kind of has a way with words. And chest-puffing. Ayer is fully aware that he’s making a movie about race relations in LA and also went out of his way to make sure we knew this wasn’t “some PG-13 bullshit PG-13 movie. I get to do my shit.” Music to my ears. His shit is crazy, but I tend to like it.
Joel Edgerton barely spoke at all, but did tell us a great story about how he and Will Smith would drive around LA and even with all his Orc makeup no one noticed him simply because he was next to Will Smith.
It makes sense. Smith is a real charmer. When asked why he does so many science fiction films, his response went into the wonder of seeing Star Wars for the first time and how it’s his hope to bring that kind of mind blowing experience to youngsters.
They talked a bit about Netflix, but not in any controversial way. The general idea was that Netflix gave Ayer a ton of money and then let him do his thing. Which is nice if you love crazy David Ayer movies.
We also got to see an interesting clip where Smith and Edgerton, along with Lucy Fry, fight Noomi Rapace and some other Elf in a convenient store. Like, Rapace’s Elf pal literally drives a car into it and fights them with that, pushing them into walls trying to run them down. There’s a lot of gunplay and a whole lot of crazy flipping from the Bright characters, but the action also looks a bit hectic and overly silly at times.
I’m totally in the bag for Bright, but in a way that might not be good news for the film. I think the whole premise is crazy cool (and I don’t mind it being sort of an Alien Nation remake, though I do wish they would acknowledge that film's influence), Ayer is a total wildcard director, and from what we saw, Smith and Edgerton make a good team. I’m not sure it’ll be a good movie, but that doesn’t mean I won’t love the shit out of it when it comes out this December.