“Bright 2”: Will Smith’s sequel is no longer in development at Netflix


Luminous – Image: Netflix

A sequel to Bright was announced after the release of the first film released in 2017. Now, 5 years later, it is now reported that a sequel has been dropped since the Will Smith slap-gate incident. The movie has had plenty of updates over the years, so here’s everything we know so far Bright 2.

Released on December 22, 2017, Bright was the big new fantasy thriller starring Joel Edgerton and Will Smith. The film 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 to date. The movie notably came out before Netflix itself reported its 2-minute stats or hourly stats, so we’re not sure to what extent. Bright stacks up all these years later. It was later reported that 60 million Netflix users have watched the film, although it is unclear over what time frame it ends.

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

So, with all this time since the announcement, where do we stand with the sequel which should see the return of Will Smith and Joel Edgerton in their respective roles. It has also been reported that the film will likely head internationally in the sequel.

Bright 2 Development Timeline So Far

As we indicated above, we come to half a decade since the release of the first film. A sequel was confirmed just over four years ago in early January. Following the announcement, Under the Line’s Find Film Work noted that “casting is already underway” as of January 8, 2018.

It was announced that David Ayer was writing the screenplay (although Evan Spiliotopoulos was later bought in to rewrite) with Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless producing again (the pair are working with Netflix under overall deals).

Variety Insight reports that Grand Electric, Clubhouse Pictures and Crave Films will all return to produce the film.

2019 has been a big year for the movie, with filming supposedly starting in the summer (specifically July) of that year. This never materialized, however, with Will Smith’s scheduling conflicts apparently causing the delays.

Of course, in 2020 very little was getting started due to COVID-19 preventing production from starting, which apparently led to a rethink of the script. This was confirmed in May 2020 when Deadline revealed that David Ayer was no longer going to direct the film and that Louis Leterrier was wanted for the role of director.

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

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

Also in July 2021, ProductionWeekly said filming (or production in some form at least) was to begin in fall 2021. We have had no confirmation of this. Another addition to the production roster was that TS Nowlin, who was involved with Netflix The Adam Project, was part of the editorial staff. Nowlin is also known for his involvement in the maze runner film franchise.

In the fall of 2021, Netflix released the anime spin-off Brilliant: SamSoul Urai which released in October 2021 with little to no fanfare. The film failed to reach Netflix’s top 10 in any region and only has a 5.5 on IMDb.

Now let’s come to the current year, 2022.

Many feared that the project was cut short or put on the back burner following the cancellation or halting of a slew of Will Smith projects. They are cut short because of Smith’s actions at the Oscars where he slapped Chris Rock who told a joke at his wife’s expense. After the Oscars, IndieWire reported that Smith was still on board to reprise her 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 did not mention Bright 2. Lucas Shaw, another Bloomberg media writer, said on Twitter that the project was quietly canceled saying:

“Netflix has also dropped plans to make a sequel to Brightbut that has nothing to do with the incident.

Netflix has also halted development on another Smith project in the form of the upcoming movie. Fast and loose. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news about it. The board remains the only Will Smith project currently on Netflix.

Is this the end of by Bright story on Netflix? So far, it seems the answer is yes.

Would you like to see Bright 2 on Netflix? Let us know in the comments.


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