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Will Smith has a new big-budget fantasy movie on the way this holiday, but you won't need to run to the theater to check it out because it's a Netflix production. Bright is an urban fantasy story that stars Smith as a human cop and Joel Edgerton as his new orc partner. The new trailer for the film combines the two different styles into something with a style all its own. Check it out below.
What makes Bright look so compelling is that, as a cop drama, it looks like this movie could include scenes from Training Day or End of Watch, which makes sense considering the director. It looks gritty and realistic. However, on top of that is a layer of complete fantasy as the characters in the story include orcs and elves and a magic wand is at the center of the plot. The two ideas could easily clash, but Bright looks to have melded them together seamlessly.
While Netflix has been making original films for some time, the product looks to be taking a noticeable step up in the budget department when it comes to Bright. The film looks like anything that could be coming from a major studio, but instead, it's being handled by a streaming service. In addition to starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, the film is being directed by Suicide Squad's David Ayer. You don't put together a team like that if you're not looking to make a movie on par with other major releases.
Urban fantasy is a genre that is very popular in fiction these days, but we rarely see it make the jump to feature films. That's a large part of why Bright feels so unique. Most movies that qualify as fantasy are more in the vein of Lord of the Rings, set in a world that predates technology. Urban fantasy takes all the traditional elements of those sorts of stories and sets them in a modern world. It's a delicate balancing act as the story needs to feel "real" while still having plenty of fantastical elements.
Perhaps if Bright is successful we'll see Hollywood take more notice of the urban fantasy genre. Studios are always looking for material to adapt and there are numerous novel series to choose from that could potentially make solid movie franchises. Of course, depending on what happens with Bright, the film itself could become its own series. Netflix is becoming a major player in the industry and every other film distributor has their own big-budget franchise. Maybe Bright will be that for the streaming service.
Bright will be released on Netflix beginning December 22.