Martin Lawrence has openly stated that he thinks the third entry in the Bad Boys franchise is now officially dead. The intended co-star of Bad Boys 3 - also known as Bad Boys for Life -- shared his views on the likelihood of the sequel ever seeing the light of a cinema, and they certainly weren't positive. With Will Smith initially due to reprise his partnership with Lawrence as Detectives Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett, plans for the threequel had started well but soon developed problems.
Lawrence himself actually confirmed the start of pre-production for Bad Boys 3 way back in 2014 during a TV interview. During a slow development stage, it was announced that the film had found a writer/director in the shape of Joe Carnahan. Confidence in the project was heightened when Will Smith said that both he and Lawrence were definitely returning to their lead roles. The film was given its new title, and not only was a release scheduled for February 2017, but a 4th film was promised for July 2019 as well. Soon after that though, things started to do downhill pretty quickly, with the release date being continually pushed back by Sony, until the project finally lost its director earlier this year. Another bombshell was dropped when it was officially removed from Sony's release slate of forthcoming feature length productions.
And now the final nail-in-the-coffin has possibly been delivered by Lawrence, as he spoke to EW about the current status of the film. Though not an unequivocal statement that the film is officially canceled or will never happen, it certainly doesn't inspire confidence that it will happen any time in the near future... or at all.. The actor said:
"I don't think we're going to get one, not the way everything's turning out, Will is off doing another movie, and I don't it's going to happen."
The first Bad Boys was directed by Michael Bay and released in 1995. It played off the easy chemistry between Lawrence and Smith, and produced the perfect formula for a successful buddy-cop movie, making a worldwide gross of $141m and a very healthy profit. The second film had the director and both stars returning in 2003, making $273m at global box office. Both films are well-regarded by action-movie fans, and a third film was something that had been sought by Sony and Bay for some time.
However, the availability of Smith has always been a factor that has made the production of the film difficult, since the actor has been in such great demand since the original Bad Boys. In fact one-time director Carnahan had quoted his schedule being an issue to developing the script along with various other problems. The movie that Lawrence is referring to in his quote is likely to be Guy Ritchie's Aladdin, and Smith will also have commitments to the DCEU now that he's established as Deadshot, with an appearance in Suicide Squad 2 and possibly Gotham City Sirens. So with even its co-star agreeing that the film is now defunct, it looks like fans of the franchise will have to scratch Bad Boys 3 off their wish-list for at least the foreseeable future.