Releasing back in 1995, the buddy cop action/comedy Bad Boys represented a launching point for three different careers. Will Smith’s run as the star of NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was coming to an end, and Bad Boys was the first test as to whether the public’s love for the actor and musician would translate into big-screen success. Martin Lawrence was in a similar position, having enjoyed fame as a comedian and the star of the sitcom Martin, but not yet proven himself as a film actor. Then of course there was then-upstart music video helmer Michael Bay, a man eager to become a big-time movie director.

Needless to say, Bad Boys was a box office smash, beginning Smith’s path to A-list super stardom, Lawrence’s decade-plus tenure as a reliable comedy leading man, and Bay’s still-unabated onslaught of critically dismissed but audience beloved blockbusters. As one might imagine, all three men have since shared a certain fondness for the film that catapulted them to new heights, with the trio all opting to return for 2003’s even more financially successful sequel Bad Boys II. Talk of a Bad Boys 3 has intensified since the start of the past decade, with the project finally becoming official last year, along with a planned Bad Boys 4.

However, the confirmation of more Bad Boys sequels came with a potentially huge caveat, that being whether stars Smith and Lawrence would opt to return to as their respective Miami cop characters Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett. Well, the masses need wonder no longer, as Smith himself confirmed during a recent radio appearance (h/t Comic Book) that the charismatic duo is “definitely” returning to the franchise:

“I hadn’t seen him for about two years, and we just looked at each other. We hugged and in that moment we both knew we were making another Bad Boys. So we’re definitely doing another one.”

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys 2 Bad Boys 3: Will Smith Says He & Martin Lawrence Definitely Returning

The meeting Smith is referring to apparently happened just a few weeks ago (at the time of writing this), although whether he and Lawrence were already in talks to return for Bad Boys 3 at that point is anybody’s guess. After all, with a planned 2017 release date already on the books, it’s not like Universal had a ton of time left to lock up alternative leads just in case Smith and Lawrence hugged and were then like “nah” before moving on to other projects.

Still, Bad Boys fans can now seemingly rest easy in the knowledge that the two stars will be returning for Bad Boys 3, although Smith’s wording does seem to leave open the question of whether he and Lawrence will also be coming back for Bad Boys 4. Perhaps the plan from by-now-producer Bay and whoever directs the film (Joe Carnahan was in talks last year) is to use Smith and Lawrence to reignite the series before turning over the fourth installment to a fresh duo of up-and-comers. If that ends up being the case, young actors should be lining up to be cast in the leads, hoping against hope that Bad Boys does for their careers what it did for their predecessors.

Bad Boys 3 is currently scheduled to open in theaters on February 17th, 2017. Bad Boys 4 opens July 3rd, 2019.

Source: Comic Book

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