With new installments of 21 Jump Street and Ghostbusters in the works, Sony is looking at another one of its successful franchises with designs on bringing it back to the box office. The long-planned Bad Boys 3, which producer Jerry Bruckheimer said was being roughly outlined last year, has taken some big steps forward.
Joe Carnahan (The Grey, Stretch) is in early talks to rewrite a script originally by Safe House writer David Guggenheim, which he may also direct for the studio. Additionally, Sony wants Martin Lawrence and Will Smith to reprise their roles, and so it’s pushing to get the threequel ready for Smith as soon as he’s done shooting scenes as Deadshot in Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad.
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That’s a major fast-track for the new installment, which comes well over a decade after 2003’s Bad Boys 2 (the original emerged in 1995). Michael Bay, who directed the first two films, does not seem to be involved here. Luckily, Carnahan seems like an appropriate replacement – his oeuvre has traditionally found him exploring classic perceptions of masculinity, with macho thrillers like The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces and Narc.
As for the stars, there seems to be a greater chance of them re-teaming for the threequel now than in previous years. Suicide Squad notwithstanding, Smith’s reputation has taken a bit of a battering over the past few years, with After Earth, Winter’s Tale and most recently Focus all becoming disappointments at the box office. The first and last were surely most troubling for the star, given that they depended almost exclusively on his appeal. Lawrence, meanwhile, would almost certainly jump at the chance to participate in a Bad Boys follow-up – he most recently went to television for the awful (and thankfully) short-lived FX comedy Partners, which would have lasted a full 100 episodes had its first 10 been successful enough.