Joel Edgerton Is The ‘Jackie Robinson Of Orcs’ In This First Look At Will Smith’s ‘Bright’

In the first of several teasers and trailers for Netflix’s onslaught of original films, the Will Smith-led fantasy picture Bright intrigued Oscars-watching audiences with its depiction of an alternate Los Angeles. “Okay,” you’re probably thinking, “what’s so ‘alternate’ about Smith playing a cop on the crime-ridden streets of LA? Is this just another Training Day?” Yes and no. Sure, Smith told Entertainment Weekly the film is a lot like the David Ayer-written, Antoine Fuqua-directed crime thriller starring Denzel Washington, but Ayer’s latest is “alternate” because “there’s orcs and fairies and elves, mean-ass elves.”

Especially co-star Joel Edgerton’s character, Nick Jakoby, the first orc to enter the Los Angeles Police Department under what the actor described as a “diversity program.” And seeing as how Smith, who plays Jakoby’s human partner Scott Ward, describes him as the “Jackie Robinson of orcs,” one can assume the fantasy character’s integration into an otherwise human organization won’t run smoothly.

“I’m under investigation already for an incident that involved an orc who should have been apprehended but managed to escape. The feeling is that I looked after my own kind first and neglected to do my job as a result,” Edgerton explained. Smith agreed, adding that Jakoby “has to make it go right, or other orcs won’t have a shot. So he’s taking on the social responsibility of being a good cop, with the weight of his people on his shoulders.”

From a script written by Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency creator Max Landis, Ayer’s Bright will blend many of the same elements utilized by Training Day and End of Watch with aspects of fantasy behemoths like The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Or as Smith put it, the movie will shift from socially conscious scenes in which a bunch of human cops beat a defenseless orc while Jakoby helplessly looks on — to his and Ward’s pursuit of a “magical relic, an artifact of the Dark Lord’s war against humanity” outlawed by measures banning magic’s use.

(Via Netflix and Entertainment Weekly)