bright sequel

David Ayer was on a Television Critics Association panel for the new Fox drama Deputy, which he executive produces and for which he has directed episodes. Deputy is in Ayer’s traditional wheelhouse of cop movies, with Stephen Dorff playing a deputy who becomes sheriff of Los Angeles after the sheriff suddenly dies. It airs Thursday nights on Fox.

Ayer’s last two movies, Suicide Squad and Bright, both spawned follow-ups. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn featuring Margot Robbie’s title character comes out next month and a Bright sequel is in development. James Gunn is directing the next Suicide Squad movie and we haven’t heard about Ayer’s proposed Gotham City Sirens Harley Quinn spinoff lately, so we asked him after the Deputy panel. 

‘Gotham City Sirens’ is officially on hold 

After the box office success of Suicide Squad and the breakout of Robbie’s Harley Quinn character, Ayer began developing a Gotham City Sirens movie. The film would have seen Harley Quinn lead a team of female supervillains, which may have included Poison Ivy. Birds of Prey teams her with Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez).  

After the negative critical reaction to Suicide Squad and other DCEU films, Warner Brothers changed directions on their attempt to build a shared universe like Marvel. When we interviewed Ayer for Bright, he avoided Gotham Sirens questions. Now, he confirms the film is on hold.

“No, I think it’s on pause,” Ayer said.

That would make sense. If Birds of Prey is a hit, Warner Brothers will likely want a sequel, tying up Margot Robbie for the foreseeable future. And whatever happens in Birds of Prey may preclude Ayer’s plans for Gotham City Sirens.

David Ayer could have done The Suicide Squad

James Gunn took over the Suicide Squad sequel during his hiatus from Marvel. Normally in Hollywood, the director of a movie has first look rights on a potential sequel. They don’t always exercise it, so we also asked Ayer if he had a chance to do a sequel to his first movie, and he said it was his choice to do something else.

“I had a chance to do it, but I went another way,” Ayer said.

Ayer says he’s not done with comic book movies, though. Whether they involve Harley Quinn or the Suicide Squad, Ayer expects to make another comic book adaptation.

“I love the world creation of it and I love the power of the IP and the fans,” Ayer said. “It’s dangerous. It’s like juggling chainsaws, but I am drawn to it and it’s definitely an arena I’ll play in again.”

‘Bright 2’ could happen soon

2017’s Bright was one of Netflix’s first major plays at original movies. The $90 million Will Smith visual effects film was also criticized for exhibiting Netflix’s underdeveloped narratives on a grand scale. However, Netflix announced a sequel before Bright even premiered and Ayer says that is still in the works.

“Still in development,” Ayer said. “We’re working on it so hopefully we’ll be able to mount that up soon.”

Smith played a human cop partnered with an orc (Joel Edgerton) in a modern day Los Angeles filled with fantastical creatures. Ayer indicated the sequel would take advantage of the world-building established but not fully explored in the first film.

“It’s a great opportunity for all of us to explore the world more,” Ayer said. “I think people felt like there was a lot of doorways to explore. People were like, ‘Tell us about the dragon. Tell us about this, the history.’ So it’s a very rich world and I think we’re going to drill down some more.”

If Ayer is hearing from Bright fans, that backs up reports that millions of people did watch Bright and they weren’t all critical.

The Dirty Dozen could be next for David Ayer

David Ayer is also developing an adaptation of The Dirty Dozen. The original ensemble war movie starred Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Richard Jaeckel, George Kennedy, Trini Lopez, Ralph Meeker, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas and Donald Sutherland.

One could imagine an Ocean’s 11 style cast of A-listers teaming up for another mission. Ayer says his latest script could get the green light.

“I’m working on a script right now,” Ayer said. “So pending a great story that the studio likes, it’s on.”

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