Elves, orcs and… cops? David Ayer and Will Smith re­unite for an LAPD thriller like no other

Empire (Australasia) - - Preview - WORDS ALEX GOD­FREY

“IT’S TO­TALLY MAD­DEN­ING,” says di­rec­tor David Ayer. He’s talk­ing about Joel Edger­ton’s non-cg orc, a look which takes nearly three hours to ap­ply each morn­ing, then an hour to re­move af­ter a 12-hour day shoot­ing. “He wanted the chal­lenge. I think it has driven him mad. But it helps for char­ac­ter and per­for­mance, so it’s fine.” Easy for him to say.

Edger­ton is suf­fer­ing in the name of Bright, Ayer’s gritty but fan­tas­ti­cal first post- Sui­cide Squad project, writ­ten by Max Lan­dis and co-star­ring Will Smith.

So the story goes, 2,000 years ago there was a dark war on Earth, in­volv­ing all man­ner of Tolkien-es­que crea­tures, and we won — but in­stead of ban­ish­ing the losers, we in­te­grated them into so­ci­ety. Now, in present-day LA, Edger­ton’s Nick Jakoby is the first orc po­lice of­fi­cer, part­ner­ing with Smith’s hu­man cop Scott Ward.

Net­flix loved the script so much, it paid a whop­ping $3 mil­lion for it. And with­out the con­cerns of a tra­di­tional stu­dio, is Ayer able to push things fur­ther? “Yeah, if I wanted to,” he says. “But I’m telling a story about friend­ship, and I don’t need to throw a lot of in­sane things at the au­di­ence to do that. Although granted, there’s some pretty in­sane shit in this movie.” Re­as­sur­ing.

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