Netflix has had a presence at San Diego Comic Con for a few years now representing their multiple Marvel series. This year, on the series side of Netflix, The Defenders and Stranger Things will be gracing the famed Hall H. However, 2017 is the first year where Netflix Original Films made a showing and they were able to get Hall H for this panel as well. 

One of the films represented at the Thursday panel was the modern urban fantasy film, Bright. Attending the panel were director David Ayer and actors Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Repace, Edgar Ramirez and Lucy Fry. 

I’ll say this first: I’ll be damned if Will Smith isn’t the most gracious, lovable and kind actors out there. Hall H went insane with his introduction and Smith, with his trademark smile and wit, returned all the love tenfold. 

Bright is set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time, this action-thriller directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch, writer of Training Day) follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward, a human (Will Smith), and Jakoby, an orc (Joel Edgerton), embark on a routine night patrol that will alter the future of their world as they know it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything.

RELATED: Netflix Drops First Teaser for Upcoming Will Smith Movie, BRIGHT

The trailer for Bright was intriguing. It was a stunning world and it was a violent world. The make-up for the orcs and elves is wonderfully creative and the caste-like roles that the elves, humans and orc play were well defined. The Elves are on top, orcs at the bottom and humans in the middle of the social pecking order. The story is also an exciting one. Will Smith plays an L.A.P.D cop who is assigned an orc, Joel Edgerton, as a partner. Conflicts ensue as find themselves protecting young bright, which is an elf that can wield magic (Lucy Fry was amazing in the trailer as Tikka). 

Here are some highlights from the panel.

  1. Terry Crews moderated the panel. He is nothing but energy. He and Will Smith gave each other a hug upon walking onstage to which Will Smith proclaimed while rubbing his shoulders, “Terry hurts you playing!”
  2. About Bright taking place in L.A. and the real dark tone to the trailer, Terry Crews said, “No one does west coast grit like David Ayer.” The panel went on to discuss that the film is an interesting way to view socials issues, with different species rather than race. Will Smith then added, the film is like “Training day smashed with Lord of the Rings.” LOTR went on to be mentioned a few more times.
  3. Joel Edgerton plays the first orc on the LAPD. Will Smith said, the police found someone else to be racist with which was interesting for him because he’s usually on the other side of that racism. 
  4. Edgerton told a funny bit about filming in not so great parts of Los Angeles. He found himself sitting in a police car with orc makeup on, basically looking like a monster. Fans in the area started running up to Will Smith and didn’t even notice this full-on orc sitting in the car next to him. Edgerton chalked that up to “The Power of Will Smith”
  5. A guest asked Will Smith why he keeps coming back to genre lately. Will Smith shared the joy he felt when he first saw Star Wars as a child. He wants fans to feel that same awe and ecstasy that he felt back then. 
  6. Edgar Ramirez said that sometime Ayer would direct in Spanish so that other people wouldn’t know what was being said so that they could experience something other worldly that they can’t understand. Ramirez jokingly followed that up with saying that he didn’t know how much that worked because they were shooting in L.A. where a lot of people speak Spanish. 
  7. A Bright is an elven magic user. Fry couldn’t say too much about Tikka but did say she’s “a big bag of secrets.”
  8. The audience was also treated to a scene from the movie. It’s a full on firefight in a convenience store as Ward and Jakoby try to protect Tikka against another bright, and evil one, played by Noomi Repace. It was intense, it was violent, it was wonderfully choreographed. It was an orc, a human and three elves fighting and it sold me. I’m in!

The Netflix original film stars Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Edgar Ramirez, Ike Barinholtz, Enrique Murciano, Jay Hernandez, Andrea Navedo, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz, Margaret Cho, Brad William Henke, Dawn Olivieri, and Kenneth Choi. The film is directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis. David Ayer, Eric Newman, and Bryan Unkeless serve as producers. The film will be released December 2017 on Netflix.

Audrey Kearns