Martin Lawrence recently told Ebony magazine that Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars won’t kill the development of a fourth “Bad Boys” movie. The comedian said, “We got one more at least,” implying the future of the action franchise could extend beyond the next installment.
Variety confirmed in January 2020 just as “Bad Boys For Life” was taking over the box office that Sony was moving forward with a fourth movie to be written by screenwriter Chris Bremner and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
“It was big,” Lawrence said of launching the “Bad Boys” franchise with Smith in 1995. “For us to come together and prove that we can deliver, and we can pull people into the box office—that two Black stars, two sitcom stars, could make money at the box office [was huge]. I didn’t go to college, so I felt TV was my college years. I felt with movies, I had graduated; it was just different.”
The original “Bad Boys” earned $141 million worldwide, while the 2003 sequel “Bad Boys II” ended its run with $273 million. The franchise came roaring back to life in January 2020 with “Bad Boys for Life,” with earned $426 million and managed to outgross the previous two entries combined. “Bad Boys for Life” was one of the last theatrical blockbusters released before the pandemic shut down movie theaters.
“‘Bad Boys for Life’ is a lavishly conventional cop movie and a comedy of cranky fast camaraderie,” Variety wrote in its positive review. “It’s a meditation on the fine-wine élan of its two veteran stars. It’s a Mexican-drug-cartel thriller in the vein of the ‘Sicario’ films, with a weirdly personal twist. It’s an over-the-top Bruckheimer highway-chase-and-gigantic-gun-and-exploding-hacienda blowout. That it works at all is a testament to how even an entertainment rooted in this much formula extravagance can now seem comfortingly old-fashioned.”
Moviegoers have wondered whether or not Sony would pull the plug on “Bad Boys 4” after Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. The Oscar winner was dropped from several projects afterwards, and Apple is expected to delay the release of the Smith-starring slavery drama “Emancipation” to 2023. Smith is banned from the Academy for 10 years.