Netflix Is Making a Sequel to 'Bright' Whether You Like It Or Not

Matt Kennedy/Netflix
Matt Kennedy/Netflix
Matt Kennedy/Netflix

Towards the end of December, Netflix released Bright, a big budget fantasy action drama starring Will Smith as a human cop and Joel Edgerton as his Orc partner. The David Ayer directed thriller was, for the most part, pretty bad, with many critics (and Chance the Rapper) pointing out the heavy handed social commentary on race relations wasn’t exactly a great fit with the film’s frantic shoot-outs and repetitive one-liners. After being mocked on the internet for a week, it looked like the Bright universe was coming to a close. Even magic can’t save a flop.

But you know who did watch Bright? 11 million people over about three days, according to Nielsen. So, clearly, casual viewers either ignored the less than stellar reviews or simply could not resist the prospect of hearing Will Smith deliver dialogue like, “I’m the motherfucker with the wand!” Either way, the movie was a hit and now it looks like Netflix, which has never released a sequel to one of its own original movies, is officially in the franchise game.

And they’re bringing back Ayer, Smith, and Edgerton for the sequel. While plot details are clearly under wraps, it’s safe to assume that the movie will deal with the fallout of the movie’s explosion-filled ending. (Spoiler alert for Bright: Smith’s character Daryl Ward is the rare human who can wield a wand without blowing up into a million pieces.) It’s worth noting that Bright’s writer Max Landis, who was reportedly paid $3.5 million for his spec script but has recently been accused of sexual assault, is absent from the official announcement; Ayer will be reportedly take over script-writing duties for the sequel.

The announcement even arrived with a cheeky sequel confirmation video that also features a few orcs auditioning for the movie. (One of them even makes a joke about Alien Nation, a movie many Bright detractors name-checked in their reviews.) Check it out below.So, is there a possibility that Bright 2: Turn Off the Dark ends up being anything other than terrible? Maybe. There are action movie series that have improved with sequels and Ayer, who wrote Training Day and directed End of Watch, has made enjoyable movies in the past. (Don’t forget he also directed Suicide Squad.) But the buddy cop genre is mostly based on the relationship between the leads — think of Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys, or Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon — and it’s unclear if audiences are really begging for more of Smith and Edgerton’s “shut up” filled banter. The first movie had flashes of inspiration and wit. But the core of the movie was broken. Throwing more money at the problem probably won’t fix it. 

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter: Tons of people watched Will Smith fight elves over the holidays and now we’ve been cursed with Bright sequels for the foreseeable future. There’s no magic wand that can save us from that.Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He’s on Twitter @danielvjackson.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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