The upcoming movie Bright initially slipped past my nerd radar, I knew it was a Netflix film, but I didn’t know much more than that. I must say I am now quite excited for this film. To me, the film gives off an essence of the classic cop movie, Colors, starring Robert Duvall and Sean Penn, only in a much different setting. How race, bigotry and the supernatural world of orcs, fairies and elves meld together with us humans is something I am very interested in seeing.
Joel Edgerton plays Nick Jakoby, a cop, who is also an orc. Will Smith’s Daryl Ward is another officer that is forced to team up with Edgerton’s Jakoby on the hunt for a powerful weapon. The thing is Will Smith’s character doesn’t take too kindly to orcs, and certainly doesn’t want one for a partner. Both Smith and Edgerton spoke at the Bright press conference and commented on the challenges of each of their characters.
Edgerton talked about he searched for the right motivation for his orc and the place he wanted to come from playing the character.
“See this thing is leading into playing an orc, alright I’m gonna, like some sort of beast, play it in some sort of animalistic way. His whole life going to humans school, cut his teeth so that he could look more human and was studying what it was like to be a human being. So I thought I was going in this direction to play some animalistic version of an animal and instead I looked like an animal and I was desperately trying to be the most conservative human being that I could be and it was a great challenge.”
Will Smith has dealt with race issues in some of his past works, including episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and in part during his Oscar nominated performance in Ali, but he hasn’t yet been on this side of the issue, playing a character who is a bigot:
“What Joel was saying with the idea, it was spectacular for me as an African- American playing a police officer, that was racist against the first orc on the force. It’s like the flip of those social concepts. As a black dude you just don’t get a lot of movies where you’re the racist. And it was really great man. ‘You man, I don’t want no orc in my car.’ You know, you never get to say that.”
We will have to wait and see if Smith’s character learns a similar lesson to many movie racists.
Bright is directed by David Ayer and hits Netflix December 22.
How do you think the issue of bigotry will play out in Bright? Let us know in the comments down below!