When I first watched the trailer for Bright, the Netflix movie set in a fantasy Los Angeles that comes out December 22, I couldn't shake the feeling that I had seen this trailer before. Something about Bright made the movie seem utterly familiar. And then I realised: Will Smith is playing a cop in Bright, just as he had done in many, many past movies.
Bright gave me acute typecasting déjà vu, but Will Smith isn't the only actor who's found a schtick that works and is eminently replicable. The more I thought about it, the more I realised Hollywood is full of actors whose role choices follow patterns like Smith's. Keira Knightley, for example, loves to play wealthy women in a period pieces. Samuel L. Jackson has a tendency to wryly deliver one-liners before pulling some badass move.