'Bright' Gets its First Full Trailer, Full of Violence and Politics

by Monica Hunter-Hart

At San Diego’s Comic-Con on Thursday, the Will Smith-fronted fantasy cop movie Bright debuted its first full-length trailer, complete with comedy, bizarre outfits, and fantastical drama heightened by realistic violence. It looks totally awesome.

Many new plot details have emerged. Here’s what we know: The film takes place in an alternate version of modern Los Angeles, in which fantasy species — orcs, fairies, elves — live alongside humans. The story follows two cops, a human named Scott Ward (Will Smith) and an orc named Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones), who are on night patrol when they encounter an elf, Tikka (Lucy Fry), who possesses a glowing magic wand, despite the fact that magic is outlawed.

The Comic-Con panelists explained that the wand “is like a nuclear weapon that grants wishes” and can’t be touched by humans. Only “Brights” can wield it; Tikka is a “baby Bright,” while an unrevealed antagonist played by Noomi Rapace is a full Bright.


YouTube user: Netflix

Bright’s release date was also unveiled: December 22, 2017.

Scott Ward and Nick Jakoby.

YouTuber user: Netflix

The society of disunited, fantastical races in Bright has been drawing comparisons to Lord of the Rings ever since the release of the movie’s first teaser. And indeed, in the panel, Will Smith compared the film to Training Day “smashed with Lord of the Rings.”

These are normal clothes in the world of 'Bright.'

YouTube user: Netflix

But unlike Lord of the Rings, Bright will use its world to create more explicit metaphors for racism and social politics in the contemporary United States (in this universe, orcs are the most oppressed race).

“It felt great to me as a black police officer to have someone to be racist against,” Smith said. “I never get to be on that side of racism!”

It doesn’t look like the analogy is going to be subtle. “Fairy lives don’t matter today!” Scott Ward tells his neighbors near the top of the trailer.

It’s not yet clear what messages the film will attempt to convey with these parallels; we may have to wait until December to find out.

Bright is directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad) and written by Max Landis (Chronicle) and will debut December 22, 2017 on Netflix.

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