Depending on who you ask, Bright has become the sci-fi blockbuster that either powered its way to a reported 11 million views or it’s the worst movie of 2017. One thing the Will Smith vehicle’s fans and detractors seem to agree on, is the somewhat incoherent backstory and relationship between Orcs and magic.
If you found yourself puzzled about why elves seemingly sniff people like dogs, or the clumsy parallel of Smith’s Daryl Ward character saying, “Fairy lives don’t matter today,” Netflix may have the solution for you.
The on-demand streaming service recently released a History of Magic supplementary video to Bright that incorporates real history into the Bright mythology. That spotty folklore was a sticking point for many critics.
“I love it when a fantasy movie has a super vaguely described prophecy that the movie eventually returns to, and ‘Only a Bright can control the Power of the Wand’ is an all-timer,” wrote Miles Surrey, while mercilessly panning Bright in a review for The Ringer.
Netflix’s History of Magic starts on shaky footing, with an off-screen narrator noting, “Magic is as old as time itself” and “At its origin, magic was used for good.”
The two-and-a-half minute clip, which you can view above, dips into a plausible theory about Egyptian Pharaoh King Khufu before linking Bright with 23 B.C. Mesopotamian ruler Sargon of Akkad.
Over a week after the formal release of Bright, viewers get a bit more of a backstory on “the wand” mentioned in the movie’s origin story. If you can watch the section linking the wand to the creation of nuclear weaponry (as apposed to the perfectly scientific explanation of splitting an atom) with a straight face, then this featurette is the perfect coda to your Bright viewing experience.