After missing out on The Birth of a Nation at Sundance, Netflix has made a rebound purchase that sounds very promising. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service has reached a deal for the rights to Bright, a “magic-infused cop thriller” starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. The film will be directed by David Ayer, who is busy wrapping up Suicide Squad. An earlier rumor said this will be the film Ayer and Smith shoot before starting on Suicide Squad 2.
It’s unclear how much the film was purchased for but Netflix was allegedly involved in a pretty big bidding war, with one company bidding over $55 million. Smith is now back in the spotlight as a leading Hollywood man, while Edgerton has been earning a reputation for roles in films such as Jane Got a Gun, Black Mass, and The Gift. Ayer, meanwhile, already has an established reputation though jumping into the realm of sci-fi will be a first for the director (unless you count Suicide Squad).
According to Hollywood Reporter’s sources, the film will be a cross between End of Watch and Alien Nation, the latter of which forced a human cop to work with an alien. Bright will reportedly force Smith, a human, to work with an Edgerton, an Orc, as the two attempt to track down a “powerful wand.” It sounds weird and campy but you can’t ignore the talent that’s involved.
It’s unclear what Netflix plans to do next. We’ll likely see a box office release, followed by exclusive streaming on Netflix’s service. This purchase comes on the heels of several the company made at Sundance earlier this year.