How Is Bright: Samurai Soul Connected to Bright?

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When Netflix initially announced an anime adaptation of Will Smith’s 2017 urban fantasy Bright, viewers responded with a mixture of bemusement and cautious hope. With the anime’s October 12th debut on Netflix, it’s only natural to wonder: Is the anime Bright: Samurai Soul connected to the 2017 film Bright?

The Anime Bright: Samurai Soul is not connected in any way with the film Bright, at least not by its plot. However, Director Ishiguro admits that some aspects of the film have been adapted in the anime.

For many who preferred the world to the narrative, the anime reincarnation offered an opportunity to do something more fascinating with the show than writer Max Landis and director David Ayer accomplished with Bright. Continue reading as I talk more about the connection between anime and the live-action film.

Is Bright: Samurai Soul a Sequel to Bright?

Director Kyōhei Ishiguro’s interview with Screen Rant confirmed that Bright: Samurai Soul is a spin-off to the poorly received flick, Bright. 

To be clear, the difference between Sequel and Spin-off is that sequel carries forward the original story, in the same universe and with the same characters, whereas a spin-off can be a program telecasted on television or radio or is any kind of narrative, which is inspired and has a direct relation with the already existing work of fiction.

Ishiguro says. “There was only a skeleton of the idea: The fact that the film would be based on the original film, and set in Japan at the end of the Edo era and the beginning of the Meiji era, and that the scriptwriter would be Michiko Yokote. That was it.”

In fact, Ishiguro had not even seen Bright at the time, and when he was introduced to the idea, he had to watch the movie first. “In order to decide whether to accept the offer, I watched the original version,” he says. “I liked the story, as well as the acting of Will Smith. It was awesome. So I became a fan, and accepted the offer immediately.”

Ishiguro frequently emphasized the originality of the movie. In fact, Landis and Ayer, the director and writer of Bright respectively, aren’t credited in the anime spinoff and don’t appear to have been involved with it. 

When asked if he spoke with them, Ishiguro says, “What I can tell you is that the team of the original work gave us a lot of freedom. They guaranteed that we were able to come up with our own story while respecting the intent of the original.”

How Is Bright: Samurai Soul Connected to Bright?

The Anime Bright: Samurai Soul is not connected in any way with the film Bright, at least not by its plot. However, Ishiguro admits that some aspects from the film have been adapted in the anime like the anime is set in the universe of Bright but takes place at a much earlier time.

The concept of corruption and domination, as well as the use of magic by society’s downtrodden sections to reclaim some authority, is taken directly from the original Bright. Despite the subject and plot links, Ishiguro maintains that the new film is not a remake and was not created in response to lessons gained from the original Bright. 

“There was never any intention to compensate for or fix what didn’t work with the original,” he says. “Whether we’ve gone beyond the original’s success or not is up to the viewers. I’m not in a position to decide, but I’m quite happy with the results.”

Is Will Smith Back in Bright: Samurai Soul?

Bright: Samurai Soul has been referred to as the anime spin-off of Bright that does not feature Will Smith. Will Smith is not back in the anime and is not an actor.

Back in 2020, there were rumors that there were problems with the production, judging by the fact that Will Smith’s calendar was too full. It may be the reason why he is not a character or maybe the director’s idea to maintain originality.

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