I’ve long joked, for as long as a “Bad Boys 3” movie has been rumored to be in the works (which has been many years), that by the time it eventually goes into production, both actors (Will Smith and Martin Lawrence) will be over 50 years old! Close enough; Lawrence is now 51 and Will Smith is 47.
Sony Pictures announced today that the studio has moved the previously set release date for the threequel from June 2, 2017 to January 12, 2018; and the film now has an official title – “Bad Boys for Life,” not “Bad Boys 3” as it’s been called up until today.
Joe Carnahan is still attached to direct, but a production start date hasn’t been nailed down yet.
So I suppose we can now say that it’s official, barring any unforeseen events, of course. “Bad Boys 3” aka “Bad Boys for Life” is definitely a go.
The last film in the franchise, “Bad Boys 2” (“Bad Boys II”) celebrates its 13th birthday this year – it was released on Jul 18, 2003. Also worth noting is that, coincidentally (or maybe not), “Bad Boys II” became available for streaming on Netflix in the same month, so feel free to revisit it, or watch it for the first time if you haven’t.
No other casting has been announced at this time. We should know more in the coming months (including plot), if Sony remains on track.
A project that’s been in the works since 2009, screenwriter David Guggenheim (“Safe House”) was penning the script for the film, which Joe Carnahan reportedly rewrote (or is maybe still rewriting). This obviously means that Michael Bay, who directed the first two films in the franchise, will not be back to direct the third film.
I’d expect “Bad Boys for Life” will be even bigger and *badder* than the last 2, which means that it might get expensive for Sony Pictures, with likely heftier salaries to pay (Smith and Lawrence will probably demand more money than they received many years ago for the first 2), and it’s a question of whether it may even be worth it for the studio; unless they expect it to do really big numbers at the box office. And I don’t know if that’s a guarantee, quite frankly. I’m sure it’ll do well, but are Will Smith and Martin Lawrence still the box office draws they both once were, just a few years ago, especially after a handful of underwhelming returns for Smith movies in recent years, and a failed TV series which Lawrence headlined with Kelsey Grammer last year? But maybe this is exactly the kind of movie that fans want to see both actors in, and “Bad Boys for Life” will serve as a sort of return to form for them.
The first film, released in 1995, was cheap at $19 million. Will Smith certainly wasn’t collecting the kind of salary he would go on to command years later; and likely neither was Lawrence. It was a sleeper hit, earning over $140 million worldwide. The budget for the second film, released 8 years later, in 2003, ballooned six-fold to a whopping $130 million! That film grossed about $238 million globally. Not quite the profitable film that the first one was, but still a hit.
What would the budget for a third film be, and what kind of box office can be expected? Sony might opt to go leaner on this one though, with a budget somewhere between $19 million and $130 million, with an expected box office take of somewhere between $140 million and $238 million globally. I wouldn’t expect superhero movie or “Fast & Furious”-like numbers.
In essence, your guess is as good as mine.
Four years ago, when asked about the possibility of a 3rd film, here’s what Will Smith had to say: “I love making those movies… It’s Miami, the tight T-shirt and fast cars, but just at this point in my career the material has to be right. Just because it’s a popcorn movie doesn’t mean that you don’t have something to say. Then, to me, that’s hugely important. I’m forty three and I’ve got probably… I’m looking at maybe seven more years where I can run and jump a little bit and then I’m going butt and gut for the rest of my career. Butt and gut.”
Trying to read between the lines there, one can say that he didn’t seem, at the time, like he really wanted to do it. At least, not unless he really digs the script, which might be why Sony has ordered at least a couple of rewrites since talk of a 3rd film went public years ago. But you know what they say about scripts that have been *touched* by numerous writers…
Are you looking forward to a 3rd “Bad Boys” movie?