Bad Boys 4 is Happening

Sony is already pursuing Bad Boys 4 with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence before Bad Boys for Life opens.

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys for Life; Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures

Even though the marketing promises that Bad Boys for Life would be “one last ride” before retirement, it appears that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence aren’t done with their Miami ass-kickers yet. One might wonder then if the franchise didn’t squander the title “4 Life” a little too early?

News of a fourth film happening comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which revealed Bad Boys for Life scribe Chris Bremner has been tapped to also write a fourth installment for Sony Pictures Entertainment. This is quite impressive considering the trade also reports he’s penning another long-running (and long-dormant) franchise installment for Disney: National Treasure 3.

While we imagine that Bad Boys 4’s success is predicated on how Bad Boys for Life does at the box office, the film’s relatively warm reception from critics—with the movie having a 74 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (although with a rotten score from our own review)—and current opening weekend tracking suggests it’ll do just fine. If the $60 million-plus opening weekend forecasts are correct, Smith and Lawrence can be bantering again just as soon as they can all agree on a new take on the franchise…. of course that’s where the series has run into snags before.

Beginning as another buddy cop action-thriller in 1995, Bad Boys has shown surprising resilience due to the talent both in front of and behind the camera. Starring Smith right before he earned his King of Summer spurs in Independence Day (1996) and Men in Black (1997), the picture also marked Michael Bay’s first feature length film. He’d go on to Armageddon (1998) and Transformers movies success too, making their belated return to the lives of Det. Lowery (Smith) and Burnett (Lawrence) a surprise in 2003. Eight years after the first film, Bad Boys II was one of the biggest hits of its summer, and set-up a sequel. Yet that sequel almost never materialized, in part due to budgetary concerns and in part because Bay lost interest in the property.

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Thus it taking a full 17 years for Bad Boys for Life to come to fruition, along with new behind-the-camera directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. If they’ve started writing now, hopefully the fourth film will get here a little sooner than the franchise’s last two gaps suggest.

David Crow is the Film Section Editor at Den of Geek. He’s also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. Read more of his work here. You can follow him on Twitter @DCrowsNest.