Bad Boys 4 Life has rounded out its supporting cast. Bad Boys 4 Life is the first entry in the series since Bad Boys II back in 2003, which in turn came eight years after the original movie, and it hasn’t been for lack of trying that the third movie has taken this long to come together. Michael Bay stated back in 2008 that he still wanted to make another sequel to Bad Boys, but his heavy involvement in the Transformers movies saw him eventually exit the project.
Bad Boys 4 Life finds ex-partners Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Smith) reuniting when a death order is placed on their heads by a vengeful mercenary. The old partners will also have to deal with a specialized police unit during their new misadventure. In addition to Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprising the title roles, Joe Pantoliano is also returning as the permanently stressed out Captain Howard. And, now, the cast is growing even more.
Bad Boys 4 Life has been on and off again over the years, with Joe Carnahan attached to write and direct the movie in 2015, but ultimately backing out in 2017; and it got to the point where Martin Lawrence even cast doubt on the film coming together. Now, however, Sony has officially set a January 2020 release date for the movie, with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (who are also attached to direct Beverly Hill Cop 4) set as directors. What's more is that Variety has now reported that Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, and Charles Melton have joined the cast, playing members of the rival team opposing Lawrence and Smith's characters.
Bad Boys 4 Life isn’t the only thing happening with the franchise. Gabrielle Union is reprising her roles as Syd Burnett - the sister of Marcus' sister - in the upcoming series L.A.'s Finest. Union will star alongside Jessica Alba, which finds Syd clashing with a more straight-laced new partner. Despite being greenlit by NBC, the network ended up passing on the project after a pilot had been shot, but Charter Communications’ Spectrum would later pick up the show for a 13-episode first season. There’s no word on whether L.A.'s Finest will have any crossover with Bad Boys 4 Life, but with the two projects coming together almost side-by-side, it opens the door for Lawrence or Smith to make possible cameos.
As for the film, it will be interesting to see how the long gap between installments affects Bad Boys 4 Life, in addition to the loss of Michael Bay and his bombastic style. Bad Boys and its sequel were very much powered by Bay’s flair for destruction, but equally important was the comic interplay between Smith and Lawrence. The storyline for the new sequel sounds a bit darker than the previous movies, but it will likely feature the same winning formula of action and banter.
- Bad Boys for Life (2020) release date: Jan 17, 2020