It has only been a matter of days since news of a TV spinoff series based on Bad Boys surfaced online. But in that time it's been confirmed that a full pilot commitment has been given to the project by NBC and development on the series is moving ahead. As earlier reports suggested, the show will be based around the supporting character of Sydney 'Syd' Burnett from Bad Boys II, sister of Detective Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and romantic interest to Detective Mike Lowrey (Will Smith). Actress Gabrielle Union will be reprising her role in what is expected to become an ongoing Bad Boys TV series.
The role of Syd Burnett in Bad Boys II was there not only to create friction between the titular cops, but also to present a tough female character that could hold her own against the crime syndicates. To that end she was an undercover DEA agent who was a crucial factor in bringing down a chapter of not only the Russian Mafia, but also a Cuban drug cartel. As the film ended she had built bridges with her brother and presumably maintained her romance with his partner. The 2003 Michael Bay directed film received mixed reviews from critics, but the action-driven sequel pleased fans of the first film and grossed over $273m worldwide from a budget of $130m.
Now Variety reports that the rights to the pilot of the show have been secured by NBC, after several networks bid for the property and displayed a lot of enthusiasm for the new project. Although the production has yet to be given an official title, the hopes are that Union will be able to channel some of the successful vibes of the movie sequel. The series is being written and executive produced by Brandon Sonnier and Brandon Margolis, who worked on NBC's The Blacklist, while Jerry Bruckheimer - who produces the Bad Boys films - will also remain as an executive producer.
Further details regarding the storyline have surfaced as well. After her success in dismantling the drug cartel in Miami, Syd has relocated to Los Angeles - presumably leaving behind her relationship with Lowrey - and becomes a detective in the LAPD. She uses the opportunity to forget about her past and takes up a pleasure-driven lifestyle in the city. But she now has a partner - named Nancy McKenna - who believes that she is hiding some kind of personal secret, and becomes concerned that it will affect her work.
The central concept seems heavily reminiscent of the original Bad Boys odd-couple dynamics. Is Syd the flamboyant cool 'Will Smith' of the pair, with Nancy the more family-oriented 'Martin Lawrence' one? If so it could be a gender-switched TV version of the movie franchise, and could also capture some of the vibes of the recent revamped Lethal Weapon TV series. We can only wait for more details regarding the show and a premiere date.
With no sign of more Bad Boys movies, Union has the proven charisma to carry the character forward, and if the balance of action/comedy/drama remains comparable to the films, then it might just work. There is no news on any other casting, but as Union's popular series Being Mary Jane will end next year with a two-hour series finale movie, she should then be free to commit to a full series and beyond. We'll bring you more news about this Bad Boys TV Series as we get it.