Sony Pictures – like all of Hollywood – is looking to continue focusing on major, established franchise IPs with the goal of bringing more lucrative event-style films to theaters. Spectre continues the James Bond saga this fall, following up on the $1 billion megahit Skyfall, and Sony is aiming to re-bid to maintain distribution rights on future installments. And while Sony partners with Marvel Studios to help save and relaunch another lucrative license in Spider-Man, they’re also trying all sorts of ways to continue and expand upon other hits such as 21 Jump Street, Ghostbusters and Men in Black.

We can also add to that the Bad Boys series which began in 1995 and kickstarted Michael Bay’s career as a director. Hollywood super producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the man responsible for discovering Bay, has been slowly developing Bad Boys 3 for over half a decade and now Sony is actively moving on it, and may have found a director on Joe Carnahan.

The goal, according to the trades today, is to have the project ready to shoot as the next Will Smith vehicle once he finishes production on Warner Bros./DC Entertainment’s Suicide Squad which is currently shooting in Toronto. And the Bad Boys 3 script they have from David Guggenheim (Safe House) may be rewritten by Joe Carnahan, who’s reportedly in talks to direct the feature, although it sounds like he didn’t want these “talks” to become public so soon:

The news builds off of word from Smith’s Bad Boys co-star Martin Lawrence who confirmed last year that Bad Boys 3 was definitely happening after he chatted with Bruckheimer. If Carnahan lands the gig, that would mean both Transformers (which is establishing a massive talent-heavy writer’s room to build a cinematic universe) and Bad Boys have moved beyond Michael Bay as the series respective sole director. His production company is beefing up its capacity with loads of in-development projects (including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2) and he’ll likely be attached as a producer.

Guggenheim’s work on the underrated Safe House coupled with Carnahan’s solid resume of films (again, mostly underrated – looking at you, A-Team) and television work (The Blacklist, State of Affairs) will offer a potentially refreshing, smarter and unique spin on the action fans have come to expect after the over-the-top Bad Boys 2 in 2003. Carnahan nailed drama in The Grey and comedy in his latest film, Stretch, and proved he could do action in A-Team and Smokin’ Aces, all of which he helped write, so giving him Bad Boys 3 with a star in Will Smith is an easy win for the studio and fans.

Sources: Deadline, Variety

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