Netflix's 'Bright' Sequel Finds Max Landis' Replacement

Netflix’s Bright sequel has tapped Evan Spiliotopoulos, who penned The Huntsman: Winter’s War and Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, to takeover script duties from original writer Max Landis, THR reports.

Landis exited the original following creative disagreements with director David Ayer, after writing the original spec script that sold for a reported $3 million to $4 million in 2016. The script ignited a bidding war eventually won by streaming giant Netflix, who released the Will Smith and Joel Edgerton-starrer in December.

The original saw Smith and Edgerton’s characters — mismatched police officer partners Daryl Ward and Nick Jakoby, a human and an Orc, respectively — forced to team to protect a magical wand from cops, criminals, and supernatural characters alike. Both stars are expected to return for the sequel, as will producers Bryan Unkeless (The Hunger Games) and Eric Newman (Narcos).

Bright cost Netflix a reported $90 million, part of the more than $6 billion the service spent on content in 2017 despite being $4.8 billion in debt.

More than 11 million viewers streamed Bright in its first weekend on Netflix, and the success of the movie — alongside other originals Stranger Things and Marvel's The Punisher — helped give Netflix its highest quarter gains in its history. It took Netflix less than two weeks to announce it had ordered a sequel, release date TBD.

The film proved popular despite its mauling at the hands of critics, who slapped the film with a 26% “rotten” on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The film carries an 85% “liked it” approval on the site, with an average 4.2 out of 5 rating as voted by more than 18,000 users.

Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramirez, Lucy Fry, Ike Barinholtz, Jay Hernandez, and Kenneth Choi co-starred. Details on the sequel remain scarce and a release date has yet to be unveiled.

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Netflix is committed to acquiring and debuting digital content: the streaming service plans to add at least 80 original movies alone throughout 2018, having already premiered the oft-maligned The Cloverfield Paradox during Super Bowl weekend and neo-noir sci-fi Mute from Warcraft director Duncan Jones later in February.

Netflix’s future slate includes the costly Martin Scorsese-directed The Irishman and adventure crime-drama Triple Frontier, starring Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, and Pedro Pascal.