Netflix brought Bright to Comic-Con this year, and (pretty much*) the whole team was there to support the film: director David Ayer, producers Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless, and stars Will Smith, Noomi Rapace, Joel Edgerton, Lucy Fry and Edgar Ramirez. The team blew through Hall H before heading over to the Hilton Bayfront for what turned out to be a somewhat rollicking press conference, and we were there to see it with our very own eyeballs.
These were the highlights:
-- The very first question, directed at Will Smith, was something Netflix-related, and called back to the comments Smith made about the streaming service at this year's Cannes Film Festival. As soon as the reporter in question brought this up, Smith mimed throwing a water bottle at said reporter.
-- Much was made of Bright's not-so-subtle racial subtext. Smith clearly relished this aspect of the film, saying: "It was spectacular for me, as an African-American, to be playing a cop who's racist...against Orcs!"
-- Producer Eric Newman assured us that Bright's content was "R-rated", and that - had it been made within the studio system - that never would have been possible.
-- Asked what that R-rated content might include, Joel Edgerton hopped on the mic to say "Lots of Orc nudity."
-- The entire group spent a few minutes going on at length about how great it was to work on a Netflix film. Much was made about this, and - for what it's worth - everyone who spoke up about it seemed sincere.
-- Context-free Noomi Rapace quote: "I grew up in Iceland, where they believe in elves."
-- Someone asked Will Smith a question that involved a lengthy preamble involving The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Smith seemed delighted.
-- At one point, a reporter said, "Christopher Nolan recently said he'd never work for Netflix, and that he thinks doing so would feel 'mindless'. What are your thoughts on that?" Without missing a beat, Smith said, "Christopher Nolan is a wonderful director and I will not say anything that might prevent me from appearing in his next movie." Ayer's response: "I'm not touching that."
-- Told that we had time for just one more question, a reporter asked, "What's the one thing we need to know about Orcs?" Noomi Rapace responded, "They're sexy as fuck."
Thus far, the reactions to Bright's trailers have been mixed, with some fascinated by the weirdness of the concept and others turned off by...well, the weirdness of the concept. We won't know if the film's any good until it arrives on Netflix in December, but we do know it inspired one helluva entertaining press conference.
Thanks, Team Bright!
* = Max Landis, Bright's screenwriter, was curiously absent from both the film's Hall H presentation and the press conference we attended. You will note that this is not a complaint.