Ever since Sony officially added Bad Boys 3 and Bad Boys 4 to its schedule last year, fans have been eager to check in with badass Miami detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) for the first time in over a decade. Unfortunately, the major news on the film since then has been of the disappointing variety. First, Bad Boys 3 was delayed from its initially-announced February 2017 release date to June 2017. If that wasn't enough, the sequel was recently delayed again, this time by a full seven months to January 2018.
Needless to say, fan outlook on the film has dampened a tad since the latter announcement, with many wondering why Sony felt the need to send the newly-christened Bad Boys For Life to the traditional studio dumping ground of January. Well, according to writer/director Jor Carnahan (The A-Team), Bad Boys For Life's repeated delays shouldn't be a cause of concern for franchise fans.
During a recent nterview with Gizmodo, Carnahan offered his first public comments on Bad Boys 3's latest delay, asserting that the added time has allowed him to properly craft what he calls "the strongest script of any of those movies. Hands down. In a walk over. [...] Unless you’re Toy Story 3, usually third ones aren’t the strongest, and I think this one will be the strongest of the trilogy thus far."
Another factor Carnahan says led to the decision to push Bad Boys For Life back was the filmmaker's desire to gather himself, Smith, Lawrence, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer in a room together to make sure the script fully satisfied all parties involved. As one might imagine, Smith's busy schedule has made this meeting a bit difficult to arrange, especially with his recent commitments to DC Extended Universe blockbuster Suicide Squad. Per Carnahan:
"We couldn’t all get in a room, go through this thing and really ring it out. I’m a big believer in ‘Do the work at the script level until you’ve got something you know works.’ That everyone is happy with, the stars are happy with, the director is happy with, the studio is happy with.”
With Carnahan being the only one of the above quartet to not be involved with the first two films, the director also feels that the added prep time will allow him to cultivate a relationship with his two stars:
"Relationships don’t just happen. You have to cultivate them. You have to gain trust and encourage their own creative and artistic sensibilities.”
As for the story itself, Carnahan mostly played coy, but did offer the following:
"There’s a lot of funny shit in this movie. And there’s also a very mysterious, but tonally spot-on story that I think is kind of perfect for where we are in this day and age, where the guys are and reflectively, a very modern take on these guys. It’s kind of what becomes of Bad Boys when they’re not boys anymore."
While it remains odd for what should seemingly be a high-profile tentpole sequel on Sony's yearly schedule - after all, Smith remains quite the box office draw - to end up in the waste lands of January, it at least seems that Carnahan has both his heart and head in the right place when it comes to Bad Boys 3's development. For the sake of the series' many fans, here's hoping For Life defies its release date and turns out to be just as much fun as Smith and Lawrence's prior adventures through the Miami underworld.
Bad Boys For Life hits U.S. theaters on January 12, 2018. Bad Boys 4 is currently scheduled to arrive on July 3rd, 2019.