With buddy cop movies making a surge of late with more comedic takes like 21 Jump Street and The Nice Guys fairing well critically, it is no surprise that a hit from the late 1990s and early 2000s is being revitalized. Sony has long been looking to get the Bad Boys franchise back off the ground, but the project has not had an easy time so far. Originally announced to come out this year, the project has suffered a number of delays.
Currently, the third film, titled Bad Boys For Life, has a late 2018 release date attached with production eyed to begin later this year. With Will Smith and Martin Lawrence seemingly committed to the project, having Joe Carnahan onboard as writer and director should've kept things moving smoothly, but he has now exited the sequel.
THR revealed the news of Carnahan's departure citing scheduling conflicts and/or creative differences for the reasoning behind this move. Sony is reportedly already looking for Carnahan's replacement in the director's seat and could look to bring on a new screenwriter as well to rework Carnahan's script. If he did leave over creative differences, the latter would more than likely take place.
This news is equally unsurprising and shocking all at the same time. Carnahan has been attached to this project for years and has spent a lot of time developing it to simply walk away now. Creative differences would be a surprising turn in development because of this, but it is possible with production looking to begin later this year that Sony just recently read his latest draft and it had taken on a new life.
Carnahan exiting due to his schedule on the other hand makes a lot of sense. Over the past few months, he has become attached to write and direct a reimagining of The Raid with Frank Grillo. Most recently however, he has also lined up a writing role on X-Force that could lead to him directing that ensemble set to feature Deadpool, Cable, and more as well. With both of these projects looking to take precedence over Bad Boys For Life, Sony may not have been willing to wait a few more months for production to start.
While there is a strong chance that the loss of Carnahan will put pre-production on hold momentarily, Sony finding a replacement quickly could still allow for the movie to begin filming by the end of this year. This will all depend on what happens now with the director, but they also must worry about Smith's schedule with Suicide Squad 2 possibly approaching quickly and who knows what else. Hopefully this will be the last setback the project has, but only time will tell whether or not that proves to be true.
- Bad Boys for Life (2020) release date: Jan 17, 2020