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Despite toxic reviews, Netflix announces sequel to Will Smith-starrer Bright

Despite scathing reviews from critics, Netflix has greenlit a sequel to Bright, with star Will Smith and director David Ayer expected to return.

hollywood Updated: Jan 04, 2018 08:59 IST
Associated Press
Netflix,Bright,Netflix Bright
This image released by Netflix shows Will Smith, right, and Joel Edgerton in a scene from, Bright.(AP)

Despite scathing reviews from critics, Netflix has greenlit a sequel to Bright, with star Will Smith and director David Ayer expected to return.

The streaming service announced the plans Wednesday, just two weeks after the fantasy police drama debuted. Bright is Netflix’s first big-budget, tentpole-style release, with estimates that it cost at least $90 million to produce.

With a sequel, Netflix hopes to turn Bright into its first film franchise - the kind Hollywood studios rely on. But it will be doing so with one of the worst reviewed films of the year. Bright has garnered just a 28% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Yet viewer data suggests Bright is a hit - or, at least, a Netflix version of one. Nielsen reported that 11 million watched Bright in the United States in the first three days release. If that many moviegoers had paid tickets for Bright, it would have earned close to $100 million over its first weekend, if going by the average movie ticket price. And Nielsen’s tabulation is based on TV-connected Netflix viewing, and doesn’t include those watching on their phones or computers.

Netflix doesn’t release viewing numbers, but it said Bright has been its most viewed movie in all of Netflix’s 190-plus countries. It called Bright its highest viewed original film ever in its first week of release.

The film stars Smith as a police officer in an alternate version of Los Angeles where orcs, fairies and magic co-exist. Netflix announced the sequel with a mock audition tape from various orcs hoping to land a role in the follow-up.

Co-star Joel Edgerton is also set to return. One person not coming back is screenwriter Max Landis, whose original script sparked a bidding war. Ayer (Suicide Squad, Fury) will write the sequel.

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First Published: Jan 04, 2018 08:59 IST