Netflix’s sequel to Bright, the digital streamer’s Will Smith-starring action fantasy, is moving ahead with a new writer.
Evan Spiliotopoulos, who worked on Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast as well as the Snow White-centric fantasy The Huntsman: Winter's War, has been tapped to pen the script for the follow-up, which will once again be directed by David Ayer.
Not returning is Max Landis, the scribe who wrote the initial spec script for the first movie and was paid a reported $3 million to $4 million in 2016, when the project ignited a bidding war that Netflix ultimately won. Sources say Landis and Ayer disagreed creatively, which led to a parting of ways.
Smith and Joel Edgerton are expected to return as mismatched colleagues, a veteran cop and his partner, an Orc, respectively. (Bright takes place in a fictional Los Angeles filled with fairies, elves and magic wands, while acting as an allegory for real-world race relations.) The original story saw the pair reluctantly team up to protect a magical wand from law enforcement, criminals and an array of supernatural characters.
Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless are returning as producers.
Bright was a major movie for Netflix, costing a reported $90 million to make but designed to show Hollywood that the streamer could compete against studio blockbusters. It proved to be an audience hit, with tracking firm Nielsen reporting that 11 million U.S. Netflix users streamed the pic during its first three days of release. (And that, observers pointed out, was an underestimation as Nielsen only counted users who watched the film through a TV, not those who streamed on a computer or mobile device.)
Spiliotopoulos is repped by WME, manager D.J. Talbot, Fourth Wall Management and attorney Sean Marks.