There are orcs, elves, magic wands, and fairies in Netflix’s new action film Bright—but this isn’t a medieval romp through castles and dungeons.
Instead, the David Ayer-directed, $90 million movie brings you into an alternate modern world where those fantastical species have been living alongside humans all along. The story follows two LAPD police officers, human Daryl Ward (Will Smith) and rookie Orc cop Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), as they encounter a powerful magical weapon that could change the balance of this world if it falls into the wrong hands.
The relationship between the mismatched characters is an important aspect of the movie. Ward and Jakoby have a “Nick-Nolte-Eddie-Murphy-in-48 Hrs. vibe,” Smith said in a press release.
Ayer agreed with Smith’s description. “Bright is about an incredible friendship under extraordinary circumstances,” he said in a Netflix release. “More than anything, it’s about two guys who become friends as they go through hell together. It’s about two very different people becoming best friends, and you feel that chemistry.”
Amid all that bonding: explosions, wild gunfights, and set pieces that rival the action in any superhero movie at the multiplex. The difference with Bright? This time, Netflix is bringing that big-budget action straight to your television screen.
Apart from Ayer, the man most responsible for that action was stunt coordinator and second-unit director Rob Alonzo. Having previously worked on films like Deadpool and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Alonzo still faced a challenge in Bright—but one about which he was excited.
“This film doesn’t have guys that have superpowers or shooting beams out of their eyes,” Alonzo tells Men’s Fitness. “There’s magic, but we wanted to ground the action in gritty realism, like David [Ayer’s] other films like Training Day and End of Watch.”
Here are five behind-the-scenes secrets from Alonzo about the making of Bright.