In a sign that Netflix can truly go head-to-head with the major studios in bidding wars for hot projects, the company is nearing a deal to acquire David Ayer‘s supernatural cop movie “Bright,” which will star Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
Max Landis (“Chronicle”) wrote the script, which follows a human cop (Smith) in a police division that handles crimes involving magic who’s forced to team up with an Orc (Edgerton) to find a powerful wand.
Landis is producing “Bright” with Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless.
To be clear, there is no official deal with any distributor at this point, and heavy favorite Netflix declined to comment on Wednesday.
Netflix has committed to actually making the movie before Ayer and Smith return to Warner Bros. for a “Suicide Squad” sequel. “Bright” will receive a theatrical release under the terms of the deal, according to an insider.
Warner Bros. and Sony were early frontrunners for “Bright,” with Warners going so far as to secure a California tax incentive to produce the film, but in the end, Netflix’s offer trumped the other bids and the producers felt that bypassing the major studios was worth the risk.