Netflix cancels major Will Smith movie following Oscar's incident

Bright has gone dark

Netflix logo and Will Smith in Bright
(Image credit: Matt Kennedy / Netflix)

Netflix has reportedly cancelled the sequel to the movie Bright starring Will Smith. The move comes after the actor's incident at the Oscars last month, though the decision is thought to be not related.

News of the Netflix film's cancellation was spurred on by a Bloomberg report that revealed that the streaming platform has opted to delay the National Geographic series Pole to Pole with the Men in Black actor. Bloomberg reporter Lucas Shaw then confirmed (via Twitter) that “Netflix has also abandoned plans to make a sequel to Bright" while also noting that the reasoning is "unrelated to the incident.”

Bright premiered exclusively on Netflix in December 2017. While it received an overwhelmingly negative reception from critics, it did become one of the platform's biggest ever movies with over 11 million people in the US tuning in to watch it within its first three days of release, according to Nielsen Media statistics.

Set in a world where orcs and elves exist alongside humanity, Bright follows Will Smith's LAPD officer Daryl who is forced to team up with the country's first-ever orc police officer (as played by Joel Edgerton). The film cost approximately $90 million dollars and was directed by David Ayer, best known for Fury and Suicide Squad.

Netflix originally confirmed Bright 2 was in the works in January 2018 but the sequel has suffered from a troubled production. Most notably, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic saw Ayer exit the director's chair with Deadline reporting that Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Now You See Me) was set to helm the project. Production failed to get underway in the subsequent years, though Netflix did release Bright: Samurai Soul in October 2021, an anime spinoff movie set in the same world.

Netflix now looks to have cancelled Bright 2 altogether with multiple Will Smith projects up in the air. Fast and Loose is one of them, which is said to tell the story of a criminal who loses his memory before waking up in Tijuana and discovering that he is both an undercover CIA agent and a wealthy crime lord. This first came to light by The Hollywood Reporter.

T3 has reached out to Netflix for comment. 

Netflix has been on a major cancellation spree over the last few months with TV shows seeing the brunt of them. Only recently was it reported that Netflix cancelled another show before it even made it to production, signifying bigger issues at the company.

Matt Poskitt
Freelance Writer

Matt is a freelance writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, GamesRadar, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64