When Bright premiered in 2017, the Netflix original set a then-record of 11 million viewers in the first three days and 60 million viewers in its first week. The record has since been broken but the Will Smith movie, even with some poor ratings, was something of a hit for the streamer when it first started making original content. The point being, the huge numbers for Bright began talks in early 2018 for a sequel.
But in the wake of the Will Smith controversy at the Academy Awards, the movie hit a major snap.
BRIGHT 2 CANCELED AFTER WILL SMITH SLAPPED CHRIS ROCK
Ever since Bright was released in 2017, there has been plenty of talk about a sequel. It was even announced that the film, which set a then-record of 11 million Netflix viewers in its first three days and then jumped to 60 million viewers in its first week, would be getting a sequel.
But since the time of the announcement, the world has changed. We’ve gone through an unprecedented pandemic that tore across the globe and virtually shut down all walks of life. We’ve seen our economy hit highs and lows, and we’ve seen the 2022 Oscars.
Will Smith was, before that infamous evening in Tinsel Town, still the beloved actor and part-time rapper, who could elicit a smile just about anytime he was on the screen, big or small. But then came “the slap” and his screaming fit he punctuated the slap with.
It was an ungodly embarrassing moment for Smith, very unfortunate for Chris Rock, who stood there like a champ and took the slap. But a moment that has not only changed the way fans looked at Smith also changed the way Hollywood has looked at him. Bright 2 has been canceled at Netflix.
Smith has been feeling the fallout from deciding to take his Ali persona to new levels at the Oscars. He has lost his spot in the Academy, he has a ten-year ban from the Oscars, the numerous projects he had been working on are now stalling (yes, that would include Bad Boys 4), and Bright 2 is no longer.
Reports from Bloomberg are saying that Netflix’s cancellation of Bright 2 had nothing to do with “the slap” but come on, are we to really believe this?
Smith was also set to work on another project with National Geographic that would have been the third time the actor and Nat Geo have teamed up. Instead, Nat Geo is putting the project on hold, and they expect the production to possibly begin in the fall. The project is called Pole to Pole and would have seen Smith visit both the North and South Poles.
Smith has been fairly quiet since the Oscars incident. He did pen a post-Oscar apology but not many felt it was sincere enough, definitely not toward Chris Rock. Apparently, Smith has decided a spiritual venture may help straighten things out for himself. Barely a month after his Oscar’s roundhouse, Smith got himself on a plane and decided Mumbai, India was where he needed to be to find clarity. Of course, he was met with paparazzi (how did that happen?) and smiled and took pictures with fans.
Who knows, everyone loves a good comeback story. Redemption and whatnot. Perhaps Smith will get his. Although Bright 2 is no longer happening, chances are we definitely have not heard the last from Will Smith.
LOUIS LETERRIE WAS SUPPOSED TO DIRECT
The original Bright was directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad) from a script by Max Landis (Victor Frankenstein, upcoming An American Werewolf In London) but only Ayer will return in a limited role. For his part, Ayer wrote the script for Bright 2 with Evan Spiliotopoulos and a rewrite was completed by T.S. Nowlin.
While Ayer wanted to be a larger part of the sequel, he is off gearing up to begin a potential new franchise of his own with a remake of the 1967 classic The Dirty Dozen.
With Ayer out, Netflix needed a new director to bring the continuing story to fruition in Bright 2. Enter Louis Leterrier. Leterrier comes aboard with an impressive resume that includes The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans, Now You See Me, and The Brothers Grimsby. Leterrier also directed all ten episodes of the series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, where he was the executive producer.
WILL SMITH AND JOEL EDGERTON WAS SET TO RETURN TO BRIGHT 2
Bright, the original, starred Will Smith and Joel Edgerton (The Thing, Zero Dark Thirty) as two mismatched crime fighters. Smith played a detective and Edgerton an Orc. It was set in a world where humans co-existed with other races (orcs and elves) and where magic is real, though only a few (Brights) can handle rare magic wands without dying.
This pairing looked to be returning for Bright 2 as Smith and Edgerton were both expected to reprise their roles. There was no word on any other actors coming back.
BRIGHT 2 WAS SUPPOSED TO GO INTERNATIONAL WITH THE PLOT
Not much to go on here, though it was rumored that Bright 2 would take the crime fighters to an international stage. And that’s as far as that went.
We do know (SPOILER) that Smith’s character is a Bright after he took hold of a magic wand, expecting it to blow up in his hands. When it didn’t, the possibilities of more stories and an expansion of the Bright world increased immensely.
BRIGHT 2’S RELEASE DATE IS NO MORE
While nothing is ever dead when it comes to stars like Will Smith and the streaming wars Netflix is a part of, Bright 2 won’t see the light of day for years and years at the very minimum.
But it’s likely that this will never actually happen.
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