It’s been 15 years since we were last treated to a Bad Boys movie. In that time, those boys have become middle-aged men and people have stopped enjoying Michael Bay movies. But those movies are still hella fun and they were big hits, so another sequel makes sense. Sony hasn’t forgotten about their hit franchise. They spent those years trying to get another one off the ground. Well, I’m pleased to announce that Bad Boys 3 looks like it’s edging closer.
Variety has revealed that production on the long-awaited sequel — titled Bad Boys for Life — could commence as early as next year, with a release date planned for Martin Luther King Day weekend in 2020. Bay is also out of the picture. The Wedding Ringer’s Chris Bremner has penned a script that the producers are pleased with, and Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will direct the movie. Will Smith is definitely on board to reprise his role as Mike Lowrey, but his co-star Martin Lawrence has yet to sign on the dotted line.
The question is: What’s taken so freakin’ long? According to Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch, they simply wanted to make it the best movie it could possibly be. As he told Variety, “If we’re going to make another Bad Boys after 15 years, it’s got to be next-level great.” That’s a valid point. The last thing the world needs is another mediocre sequel to a franchise that’s old enough to order a drink from the bar.
Still, the process of finding this “next-level” greatness has been a long one. At one point Bay was supposed to return. When that didn’t work out, David Guggenheim came aboard for a minute. When that fell through, Joe Carnahan took over before he stepped aside last year. Hopefully, this time will be the charm. But if we’ve learned anything from the Bad Boys 3 story thus far, it’s that we’ll believe it’s real when we see it.
This news is also the latest in Sony’s attempts to revive their buddy-centric action-comedy franchises. The Men in Black spinoff starring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth is expected to hit theaters next year. Elsewhere, a Charlie’s Angels reboot is currently in production and keeps adding Bosley’s to the mix. On top of that, Panitch told Variety that they’ll be revisiting 21 Jump Street in the near future for a female-centric adventure.
Retooling these franchises around women-centric movies is an intentional move on Sony’s part. They don’t want to tell the same old stories we’ve already seen time and time again, and gender-swapping is one way to go to spice things up. And, to paraphrase Panitch, we’ve seen enough buddy movies that focus on dudes.
This approach has been applied to the Bad Boys franchise as well. LA’s Finest, a female-led TV series spinoff starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba will hit the small screen next year. Maybe the movie will bring the Bad Girls into the mix as well. Union and Alba making an appearance to help our heroes take down some criminals would be fun. Or, maybe they’ll introduce some new women detectives and give them their own spinoff franchise down the line? With Sony’s current forward-thinking mindset, these options aren’t so far-fetched.
Either way, I’m excited to see what this movie brings to the table. Absence makes the heart grow fonder sometimes and a Bad Boys movie could hit the spot quite nicely. Now that both stars are in their fifties, this has all the makings of an “I’m too old for this shit” scenario, which adds a new dynamic to proceedings. Will they still be up to the task at hand as they fight crime while grappling with age? How will they interact with Miami PD’s younger hotshots? There are so many possibilities, but that’s only if the movie really does happen this time.
Related Topics: Bad Boys 3