The Bad Boys TV spinoff has found a partner for Gabrielle Union, as Jessica Alba is confirmed as the co-lead for the upcoming NBC show. It’s been nearly two decades since Alba played the breakout role of Max Guevara in Fox’s Dark Angel, but now she is set to return to the small screen as an LAPD detective who will work alongside Union’s character in the pilot for the intended series.
Although the possibility of a third Bad Boys movie is still on the cards, after months of speculation NBC ordered the pilot for the TV spinoff in January. It will star Union who reprises her Bad Boys II role as the impulsive DEA agent Syd Burnett, the sister of Martin Lawrence’s Marcus and love interest to Will Smith’s Mike in the film. The pilot will see her relocating to Los Angeles, having stopped her dangerous undercover work to become part of the standard police department. Burnett uses the opportunity to leave her past (and presumably Mike) behind and enjoys a single lifestyle in the city while fighting crime. It was known that she would be partnered up with a more stable detective with the relationship echoing that of the movies, but the casting for that role remained unknown until now.
Deadline has reported that Alba will be playing the role of Nancy McKenna, a working mother raising two preteen step-kids with her husband. McKenna has a military background having joined the army out of high school, spending time in Iraq and Afghanistan and joining the military police to get closer to the action. Despite that, her current responsibilities mean that she now has a more cautious and stable lifestyle that is the polar opposite to Burnett’s. Even so, there will reportedly be some jealousy on McKenna’s part, as she sees her new partner’s more reckless and carefree approach to life. This would seem to set up the expected mismatched-buddy cop dynamics that should drive the story and action forward, and invite the obvious comparisons to the Bad Boys chemistry.
Alba is certainly a solid choice to team-up with Union. Both of them have history with action movies, and Alba has played plenty of physical roles in the past. She was Sue Storm in the early 20th Century Fox adaptations of Fantastic Four and starred in many other popular movies like Sin City and Into the Blue. She was also recently seen alongside Jason Statham in Mechanic: Resurrection. If the pilot goes to full series, it will be the first regular TV role Alba has taken on since Dark Angel, and she will also be serving as an executive producer on the show alongside Jerry Bruckheimer.
It’s a confident step forward for the as-yet-untitled spinoff, and Alba joins a cast that already includes Ernie Hudson as Burnett’s father, along with Zach Gilford (The Purge: Anarchy). The pilot sounds very much like it will be attempting to emulate the banter and relationship that existed between Lawrence and Smith in the movies, and maybe draw some inspiration from Cagney & Lacey along the way. Certainly both Union and Alba are capable of producing good work in these roles and hopefully provide some Bad Boys-inspired verbal sparring. We look forward to seeing the results.
The Bad Boys TV spinoff pilot has yet to be given a screening date. We’ll keep you updated.
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