It looks as though Will Smith and Martin Lawrence will, at last, reunite to play the buddy cop duo Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett in the spring of 2017 – when filming on the third Bad Boys installment, Bad Boys for Life, is slated to get underway. The followup to director Michael Bay’s 2003 hit action movie Bad Boys II (itself, a sequel to Bay’s 1995 breakout film, Bad Boys) has been stuck in development purgatory for several years, but appears to be moving along steadily now under the supervision of its screenwriter and director, Joe Carnahan.
Sony already has plans for the Bad Boys franchise beyond Carnahan’s film and has spent more than a year at this point, holding onto a July 3rd, 2019 release date for Bad Boys 4. Although Sony has now given that Fourth of July 2019 weekend launch pad to another franchise movie under its banner, in the form of the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, that doesn’t mean the studio has abandoned plans to make a fourth Bad Boys movie already. Bad Boys 4 has instead been moved up to a different date, that same year.
Deadline broke the news about Sony settling on an official release date for the Homecoming sequel – a move that was no doubt (partly, anyway) inspired by the enthusiastic reception for the newly-released Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer. That same Deadline report confirms that Bad Boys 4 has now been rescheduled to hit theaters over the Memorial Day on May 24th, 2019. Bad Boys 4 will serve as counter-programming to Warner Bros.’ family-friendly live-action Minecraft movie over that frame – and for now, they are the only two films claiming that date for their stateside theatrical debut.
Carnahan has so far played things close to the chest, where it regards the story and setup for Bad Boys for Life. It’s certainly possible that the film will serve as a soft reboot of the Bad Boys franchise and/or attempt to pave the way for a future installment that doesn’t involve either Smith or Lawrence (say, by introducing one or both of their kids with a “passing the torch” storyline). For his part, Carnhan hasn’t given any indication to date that he’s thinking about the Bad Boys series beyond movie #3 right now – suggesting that all he’s really focused on is making just one more Bad Boys movie that “works” for modern audiences, rather than a franchise relaunch.
Sony, however, is clearly hoping for more than just one more Bad Boys film – and if Bad Boys for Life works out well, the studio might look to Carnahan to tackle the fourth installment too. Carnahan has yet to direct a sequel to any of his own films and his collective body of work (including, Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team and The Grey) is all the more eclectic and interesting for it. The filmmaker already has another project in development to follow Bad Boys for Life, in the form of the assassin thriller Five Against a Bullet. That plan could change of course, should Carnahan succeed in delivering the exciting and unique third Bad Boys movie that fans of the franchise – and Sony – are hoping for.