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Will Smith’s Netflix Sequel ‘Bright 2’ (2024)

Bright is a American urban fantasy action film. The film is set in an alternate present in which humans and mythical creatures co-exist and details an LAPD police officer (portrayed by Will Smith) and his orc partner (Joel Edgerton) confronting racism and police corruption while protecting a magic wand and the elf girl (Lucy Fry) who wields it. Noomi Rapace, Édgar Ramírez, and Ike Barinholtz also star.

A sequel to Bright was announced following the release of the first movie released in 2017. Now coming up on 5 years later, it’s now reported a sequel has been scrapped since the Will Smith slap-gate incident. The movie has had lots of updates over the years so here’s everything we know so far about Bright 2.

Released on December 22nd, 2017, Bright was the big new fantasy thriller starring Joel Edgerton and Will Smith. The movie is set in an alternate Los Angeles where humans live alongside orcs and other mythical creatures.

At the time of release, Netflix noted that it was one of its biggest movie releases ever. The movie was notably released before Netflix was self-reporting its 2-minute statistics or its hourly statistics so, therefore, we don’t exactly know how well Bright stacks up all these years later. It was later reported that 60 million Netflix users watched the movie although it’s unclear over what time period this is over.

On January 3rd, 2018 Netflix confirmed a sequel would be returning tentatively named Bright 2 (the confirmation teaser below also suggested jokingly names like Brighter, Bad Boys in Mordor, Orcs Gone Wild and Wand Wars).

So with all that time passed since the announcement, where are we at with the sequel that’s expected to see the return of Will Smith and Joel Edgerton in their respective roles. It’s also been reported that the movie will likely head internationally in the sequel.

Timeline of development on Bright 2 so far

As we stated above, we’re coming up on half a decade since the first movie was released. A sequel was confirmed just over four years ago in early January. Following the announcement, Below the Line’s Find Film Work noted that “casting is already underway” as of January 8th, 2018.

David Ayer was announced to be penning the script (although Evan Spiliotopoulos was later bought into rewrite) with Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless producing again (the pair work with Netflix under overall deals).

Variety Insight reports that Grand Electric, Clubhouse Pictures, and Crave Films would all be returning to produce the movie.

2019 was a big year for the movie with filming reportedly planned to start in the summer (specifically July) of that year. That never came to fruition, however with Will Smith’s scheduling conflicts apparently causing the holdups.

Of course, in 2020, very little was getting off the ground due to COVID-19 preventing production from getting underway which seemingly led to a rethink surrounding the script. That was confirmed in May 2020 when Deadline revealed that David Ayer was no longer going to be directing the movie and Louis Leterrier was being eyed for the directors role.

Fast forward to 2021, we heard about Bright 2 in an all-encompassing interview with Netflix’s head of film, Scott Stuber. The interview, published in late July 2021, mentioned Bright 2 but not in great detail saying:

“It [Netflix] is close to having a final script for “Bright 2,” which will bring back original stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton,”

Also in July 2021, ProductionWeekly stated that filming (or production in some form at least) was due to get underway in fall 2021. We’ve had no confirmation of that happening. Another addition to the production listing was that T.S. Nowlin, who was involved in Netflix’s The Adam Project, was on the writing team. Nowlin is also known for his involvement with the Maze Runner film franchise.

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In fall 2021, Netflix released the anime spin-off Bright: Samurai Soul which was released in October 2021 with little to no fanfare. The movie failed to hit the Netflix top 10s in any region and only has a 5.5 on IMDb.

Let’s now come into the current year, 2022.

Many feared the project has either been halted or put on the back burner following a slew of Will Smith projects being canceled or halted. They’re being halted because of the actions of Smith at the Oscars whereby he slapped Chris Rock who told a joke at the expense of his wife. Following the Oscars, IndieWire reported that Smith was still onboard to reprise his role in the sequel.

In April 2022, however, all hope was lost on the project. Bloomberg reported that Will Smith’s National Geographic series Pole to Pole had been delayed but didn’t mention Bright 2. Lucas Shaw, another media writer at Bloomberg, stated on Twitter that the project has been quietly canceled saying:

“Netflix has also abandoned plans to make a sequel to Bright, but that is unrelated to the incident.”

Netflix also halted development on another Smith project in the form of the upcoming movie Fast and Loose. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news on that. The Council remains the only Will Smith project now at Netflix.

Is that the end of Bright’s story on Netflix? For now, it looks like the answer is yes.

Would you have liked to have seen Bright 2 on Netflix? Let us know in the comments.

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