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David Ayer to film Netflix feature Bright in LA

End of WatchFilmmaker David Ayer will start shooting his new hybrid fantasy drama Bright on location in Los Angeles in the coming weeks for Netflix with actor Will Smith.

The movie blends fantasy with cop drama tropes following a human and an orc – a type of fantasy character – as they outrun criminal gangs and the police to protect a magical artefact.

Ayer has written and directed several movies set on the streets of Los Angeles where he grew up – his 2012 police drama End of Watch (pictured) is the most recent – and the city was reportedly important to him as a filming location for Bright.

Netflix has acquired the film for $90m, a move that has made waves in Hollywood as it marks the first time that the online platform has made a significant investment in a big-budget production that would otherwise have been released in cinemas. 

Bright was one of a small selection of films awarded tax credit support from the California Film Commission earlier this year. The movie’s producers were approved for incentive support of just over $7m to shoot in Los Angeles.

California has boosted its annual film fund to $330m in recent years but most of the money is in fact allocated towards supporting TV productions.

Over the summer, however, California allocated $18m in tax credit support to A Wrinkle in Time, the largest sum it has yet offered through the boosted programme. The Disney movie is being directed by Ava DuVernay and will spend $85m in California. 

California will also support Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut – an updated version of the Hollywood classic A Star is Born – with a payment of just under $8m. 

In North America, most big-budget features still favour Louisiana, Georgia, New York, Vancouver and Toronto as filming locations, where more incentive money is available.

For more on filming in California see our production guide.

Image: Scott Garfield/Open Road Films