Bright was one of the big Netflix releases to come out in 2017. It had an all-star cast and a director who had quite a bit of critical acclaim behind him. When the movie was released Netflix claimed it was one of their most popular movies but the critics completely savaged it. It currently sits at a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes but despite that critical mauling Netflix has greenlit a sequel. Collider recently spoke to star Joel Edgerton and he talked about his hopes for the announced sequel.
“The world is very interesting, and I think there’s a certain depth and detail to that world that’s really wonderful. I think on the one hand it’s interesting that some of the criticisms of the film is that some of the analogies about race didn’t go deep enough, and other people said it was obvious and didn’t need to go too far with it because it was there on the surface. I think there’s a lot of fun to be had, there’s more to discover with the characters. I don’t know exactly where they’re going to take it. I got the sense from David that he might take it to a new setting, which I think would be cool to see. I personally was most curious of what was happening outside of Los Angeles, and obviously the world at large is populated by similar characters and how does that affect other cities? I think it’d be awesome to have a look at that. It’s interesting where do Daryl and Nick go now that they’ve had that experience. Is Jacoby now suddenly more accepted because he went through that experience, or is he going to go back to work on Monday and have people mistreat him?
I always think the best of anything and it’s the filmmakers or Netflix or any us learn from the response to the movie—and I’m talking about the negative responses to the movie and what people out there on the street loved about the movie—I think if you take all that information it puts you in a nice spot to make a second and maybe a third movie perhaps. It’s always worth listening to the fans and the good and bad responses to it. I don’t know much, and I can tell you why I signed on for a sequel. I had a good time with the people; I had a tough time in the prosthetics for sure, but I loved playing the character. Between ‘action’ and ‘cut’, it was one of the most exciting characters I ever got to play just because of the complete freedom. I love improvising, it was my version of like playing Chunk in Goonies or Shrek or something—the big, kicked-to-the-curb, ugly, misunderstood, monster character.”
Edgerton was also asked about the critical response to the movie compared to the reports that the movie was very popular on Netflix. He compared to the movie to the backlash against Star Wars: The Last Jedi and also said that critics didn’t like it because it was a Netflix original.
“All I know is what was reported, which was something like—whatever number was reported—something like 11 million that first weekend. Whatever it was, it amounted to a $100 million-plus opening weekend. But, I have to be honest, that’s considering that people don’t have to get in their car, go buy a ticket, go buy the popcorn. There’s a certain age where you can roll over and press play on the remote control. But, according to them, the numbers were there. And I think that would be supported by the wild discrepancy between the audience score and the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score, it’s almost the inverse of Star Wars [The Last Jedi]. You’ve got critics at 93 or 92%, and the audience gave it a 50-something, and you get to Bright, which is sort of slammed by critics, but it has a 90% audience score. I think there was a little bit of extra critical hate towards it because it’s changing the landscape of the movie business, but I think Bright is maybe a movie that needs to be reviewed by public opinion rather than viewed through the highbrow prism of film criticism.”
Being a Netflix original is not something critics knock against a movie. Mudblood is a perfect example of that but there are plenty of movies that have gone straight to streaming services that are well received by critics. There is also the fact that audience scores can be manipulated and using The Last Jedi as an example, an audience score that was likely artificially lowered by angry fans, to make a point was probably not the best idea.
Director David Ayer took the criticism in stride and maybe he’ll take it to heart when he makes the second movie. There’s room for improvement in this series and with a little extra work it has the potential to be great. Netflix obviously sees something worth investing in so now Ayer has the opportunity to try and make something better the second time around.
Set in a world where mystical creatures live side by side with humans. A human cop is forced to work with an Orc to find a weapon everyone is prepared to kill for.
Bright, directed by David Ayer, stars Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Veronica Ngo, and Jay Hernandez. It is streaming on Netflix now.