One of the premiere action franchises from the last few decades is due for a resurgence. After Bad Boys and Bad Boys II made an impression on audiences in the mid to late '90s and early 2000s, Sony is finally trying to get a third film off the ground. Both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are scheduled to return for Bad Boys for Life with Joe Carnahan tapped to direct, but everything else surrounding the film's production has remained in flux.
Originally set for a 2017 release, the sequel was eventually delayed a few months to come out in early 2018. The delay, according to Carnahan, was the result of busy schedules for those involved (mainly Smith) and their inability to hash out the script ahead of production. Now Smith, Lawrence, and Carnahan will have even more time to work on pre-production as Sony has once again delayed the film.
As reported by Exhibitor Relations on Twitter, Sony has decided to push Bad Boys 3 off the January 2018 date. As of right now, the film is slated to hit theaters November 9, 2018. As a result of this move, they have also removed the 2019 date previously attached to Bad Boys 4.
While the easiest assumption to the reasoning behind the latest delay could again be the script, it very well could be Smith's increasingly busy schedule that caused this move. Earlier this year, it was reported that Smith was being eyed by Disney to star in Tim Burton's live-action adaptation of Dumbo. At the time of this report, it was revealed that Disney was looking to begin production on Dumbo around the same time that Bad Boys 3 was set to begin filming - which reportedly was in March. Reports indicated that Smith would have to choose which project would become his next priority, and this delay could point to it being Dumbo.
Now that the film has been pushed once more, it continues to remain a mystery just how much interest there is in seeing this franchise come back after over a decade absence. Franchises in similar positions over the last few years have not faired well at the box office, such as Independence Day: Resurgence - which Smith opted not to be a part of. He very well could do the same with this franchise as well as it appears he is the one holding it in its place.
Both Lawrence and Carnahan are eager to make the film, but with Smith continuing to put other projects above the next Bad Boys films, Sony could eventually get to the point of writing him out. However, Smith is the big draw here among those attached, so recasting or finding Lawrence a new cop partner may not be the best move. That said, Smith has a bankable role within the DCEU and is in line for multiple future appearances there. The longer he waits to make Bad Boys for Life a priority, the less likely it becomes that it ever sees the light of day.
Source: Exhibitor Relations