A third Bad Boys movie has been in the ether, so to speak, for a number of years, but it finally materialized recently with Sony setting Smokin’ Aces and The Grey filmmaker Joe Carnahan to write and direct. The follow-up, titled Bad Boys for Life, will see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence returning to star, but thus far we haven’t heard much else in the way of details. So when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub recently spoke with Carnahan for an exclusive interview, the conversation obviously turned to what fans can expect from Bad Boys 3.
Carnahan revealed that the script is currently undergoing a rewrite, and once that comes in and meets everyone’s approval, they’ll be going into prep “ASAP,” reiterating that Smith and Lawrence are definitely “in” for the project. As for what the story might entail, Carnahan said he’s not ignoring the time that has passed between Bad Boys 2 and this new film:
“We’re certainly not ignoring that, and that is a part of it. What happens 15 years on and where’s your life at now and what did you foresee yourself, it’s really rich material in that way. That part I’m really excited about, it’s a lot of exploring where are they now.”
The Stretch filmmaker said that for him, it wasn’t so much the previous two films that excited him about directing Bad Boys 3, but the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence:
“It’s a very grounded, as much as it can be, Miami narcotics/robbery/homicide cops [story], two lifelong friends, these things are all appealing to me. That and knowing and doing something that I thought would be interesting, that would be an interesting challenge. Because those other films are Michael Bay’s and if you’re gonna come in you really gotta take it, you really gotta own that franchise. I came at it from a screenwriter’s standpoint and wrote my own version of the story, which is always exciting and fun. That’s what it was, being able to, as a writer, put my own spin on that world, more than anything else.”
When it comes to the film’s Big Bad, Carnahan didn’t want to reveal too much, but he did tease that there will be multiple antagonists:
“It wasn’t challenging [coming up with the antagonist]. It should’ve been. You’ve got all these years in the game and you’ve made all these enemies, you’ve accumulated all this, so in that respect it would be easy. But I don’t wanna say anything else because I don’t wanna ruin the delicacy of who our antagonist is, because I think it’s very cool. It’s not one person. It’s a multi-headed hydra, I’ll say that. It works beautifully.”
As for the development process and having the script undergo rewrites, Carnahan had high praise for his working relationship with Smith:
“It’s been a pretty centralized process. I’ve been writing this thing for the better part of a year. And at times, Will and I have discussed this too, it’s nice to drop back and just worry about the directing part of it and have people come to you, so that you don’t burn out completely. We know we have to satisfy X, Y, and Z, let me take a shot at this, and see if it comes back and see if you like it, see if it works. In that respect, Will’s been wonderful and a lot of fun, and always a willing participant, always welcoming… It’s a constant search for making it better and better and better. And I applaud that, that’s a hell of a trait to have, because he could be the other way, like whatever, but that’s not his style.”
Finally, while a lot of action films nowadays are PG-13, pushing the boundaries of movie violence within a non-R rating, Carnahan is pretty confident Bad Boys 3 will be rated R:
“I think it’s gonna be R. I don’t think we’re trying to make a PG-13 version of Bad Boys. We haven’t discussed the rating, but both the other films were R-rated; Deadpool made $800 million globally and was an R-rated film, the new Wolverine is R-rated. I think these things don’t factor it, my theory is people gravitate more toward R-rated films than PG-13, I think the PG-13 thing is betwixt and between now. It’s not fundamentally rooted in any metric where you can go, ‘Okay, we can prove that this had success because it was PG-13.’ Look at the Matrix trilogy, that was wildly successful and they were all R-rated films. Unless things change, I think we’re making a Bad Boys film and that’s an R-rated movie.”
With a film as big as Bad Boys 3, it’s understandable that it’s taken this long for it to get off the ground, but it sounds like there’s serious momentum behind the follow-up and Carnahan has some really promising ideas. The film is currently slated for release on January 12, 2018.
Founder of [nerdphoria] and Martspeaks. Is in love with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings… and pizza.