'Bad Boys for Life' Loses Its Director - Could Be a Major Setback, Pushing Its Release Date a 3rd Time
Photo Credit: Sony

'Bad Boys for Life' Loses Its Director - Could Be a Major Setback, Pushing Its Release Date a 3rd Time

“Bad Boys”  (1995) Sony

And so it continues…

Earlier this year, Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” originally set for release on January 12, 2018, was again pushed back several months to November 9, 2018 instead. This was the 2nd time that Sony moved the film’s release date; it was initially set for a June 2, 2017 premiere, and was later pushed back to January 12, 2018, and then pushed back again, to November 9, 2018. Multiple date changes can sometimes suggest an uncertainty or lack of confidence in a film by the studio heads behind it. But the fact that “Bad Boys for Life” hadn’t even begun filming yet was likely a reason for the most recent date movement. Certainly a June 2, 2017 release date would’ve been impossible even if the movie had begun filming in January.

The current November 9, 2018 release date still stands, but Sony just may have to push it back yet again given this evening’s news that “Bad Boys for Life” (the 3rd installment of the franchise) has lost its director Joe Carnahan.

According to a Hollywood Reporter exclusive, the reason for Carnahan’s exit isn’t entirely clear, citing both “scheduling conflicts” and “creative differences” from multiple sources. The studio hasn’t confirmed either at this time.

This could be a major setback for the project in large part because Carnahan was both director and writer of  the most recent draft of the script. There’s a good chance that whomever is hired to replace him in the director’s seat may rewrite Carnahan’s script – itself also a rewrite. Multiple writers on one project typically spells trouble; especially given how long this one has been in development limbo.

A 3rd “Bad Boys” movie has been “in the works” for many years, as both stars – Will Smith and Martin Lawrence – juggled decisions on whether to return for another film in the franchise. They eventually agreed to make the film, with Joe Carnahan attached to direct.

No other casting has been announced at this time. We should know more in the coming months (including plot), if Sony remains on track for a fall 2017 shoot, and a November 2018 release – a crowded month for big budget studio pictures. “Bad Boys for Life” will compete for ticket sales with a live-action “Mulan” movie from Disney’s Buena Vista subsidiary, an Untitled Fox / Marvel Film, an Untitled Paramount Event Film, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” from Universal, and a sequel to the box office smash “Fantastic Beasts.”

Will Smith’s star power will certainly be tested. It’s taken a beating in recent films.

The last film in the franchise, “Bad Boys 2” (“Bad Boys II”) celebrates its 14th birthday this year – it was released on Jul 18, 2003.

The first film, released in 1995, was a sleeper hit, earning over $140 million worldwide (on a $19 million budget). The budget for the second film, released 8 years later 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.

Are audiences really pinning for a 3rd “Bad Boys” movie? Or is this a flop already in the making? I suspect Sony won’t be as generous with the budget. Make it for as little money as possible and even if it doesn’t do gonzo box office, the “Bad Boys” brand as well as its stars may be enough to ensure that it earns its relatively low (by Hollywood standards) budget back at least.

Or maybe all these release date push-backs and setbacks are signs that Sony shouldn’t move forward with the film…

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2022 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.