Netflix has just dropped a trailer, key art and cast announcement for its upcoming animated film, Bright: Samurai Soul.
A spinoff to the live-action film Bright, the story is a retelling of the original in a new setting, era, and with new characters. Director Kyohei Ishiguro crafted this feature to blend the culture of Japan with the world of Bright. The new animation style fuses the characteristics of Japanese woodblock print art with 3DCG technology. The film is set to hit the streaming service on 12 October.
Here’s the official synopsis: In the time between the fall of the Shogunate and the rise of the Meiji era, a powerful bright light emitted from a wand brings an end to the long Shogunate period to avoid further bloodshed as Japan begins to shift toward a new era. Amid these circumstances, a one-eyed wandering ronin named Izou, who has lost his reason to live, and Raiden, an orc who detests murder and hopes to leave a life of thievery behind, separately meet a young elf girl named Sonya around the same time. Together, they go on a journey along the Tokaido road to bring her and the wand she holds safely to the land of the elves in the north. Standing in their path is the mysterious organization Inferni, which aims to obtain the wand and revive the Dark Lord, who intends to rule all of creation. Inferni also uses the new Meiji government in its attempt to steal the wand from Izou, Raiden and Sonya. Traveling along the Tokaido road from Kyoto to Yokohama, Izou and Raiden begin their journey to protect the wand.
Bright: Samurai Soul off takes the characters of the 2016 movie to Japan during the end of the Shogunate and the beginning of the Meiji period, and has a ronin (Izou voiced by Simu Liu of Shang-Chi) team up with an orc (Raiden voiced by Fred Mancuso) to help a young elf (voiced by Yuzu Harada) protect a magic wand that has the power to change the fate of the world.
The trailer appears to work on a level that assumes those watching have seen Bright and know something about the universe it is set in, which involves humans and magical creatures co-insisting in the world. The original movie contained within its fantastic effects a story that spoke a lot about the real world and how different groups of people are treated differently based on background and appearance. It would be surprising if this was as heavily apparent in the new film.
The English dub cast features Simu Liu as Izou, a one-eyed wandering samurai and the protagonist of this movie. Fred Mancuso voices the orc Raiden, who in the story, attempts to redeem himself from a life of thievery. The young elf girl Sonya is voiced by Yuzu Harada. The Japanese cast includes Yuki Nomura, Diasuke Hirakawa, and Shion Wakayama.
The film is directed by Ishiguro, written by Michiko Yokote with character design by Atsushi Yamagata. The animation is produced by ARECT.