In mystical cop thriller Bright, Will Smith says he gets to be 'racist against' orcs
Watch the new trailer for the Netflix release
A magic wand is like a nuclear bomb that grants wishes.
That’s what we learned from the trailer for the new Will Smith and Joel Edgerton cops and orcs thriller, Bright, in which fantasy creatures live in the gritty, mean-streets of Los Angeles.
A “bright” is anyone who can control magic, and while this is the realm of human beings, we are not the strongest of the strong. “If a human being touched a magic wand, they would just obliterate themselves,” Smith told the Hall H crowd at the Netflix movie’s Comic-Con panel on Thursday. “You have to be trained in magic to actually handle it.”
Smith plays an LAPD officer who gets a new partner — an orc, played by Edgerton, who is doing his best to live like a normal human being despite his gruesome visage. Edgerton described him as “a conservative human being who doesn’t understand irony, wit, or any kind of humor.” He compared the heavy foam prosthetic to somebody putting “a couch on your face.”
“I’m playing a guy who really wants to be liked but looks like a monster,” Edgerton added. “Driving around downtown L.A. in a car with windows open looking like I look in the movie, the power of Will Smith becomes clear: nobody cares if a monster is driving the car. They’re like ‘Will! Will!’ Who cares if the chauffeur is a monster?”
The movie was directed by Suicide Squad filmmaker David Ayer, who was blunt about his feeling of making a tentpole-style big-budget action film for Netflix.
“It’s about a really f—ed up L.A., but our world is f—ed up,” he said. “I was able to do my sh– here. I was really able to tell my f—ing story. I was able to do my thing.”
“It was such a beautiful thing to be able to get back with David. It is such a bizarre world, you can tell a little bit from the trailer,” Smith, who played Deadshot in Suicide Squad, said. “It’s this crazy mash up of the grit and the hard rated-R grime of Training Day. But then smashed with Lord of the Rings.”
Best of all? Smith’s cop hates his new partner. And even though it’s a high-concept fantasy-action film, it allowed him to explore a theme that hasn’t been open to him before.
“[Joel’s] character is the first orc on the team, and I’m an African-American police officer who just found somebody else to be racist against,” Smith said. “You never get to be on that side of racism when you’re black. ‘Look, man, I don’t want no orcs in my car!'”
Bright debuts on Netflix in December.