After seventeen years away from our screens and countless false starts in the interim, Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett came roaring back to life when Bad Boys For Life hit theaters in January. Fans and critics alike were equally impressed by the long-awaited return of the bickering duo, and the third installment in the franchise quickly went on to become the highest-grossing movie of the year after earning over $400 million at the box office, a position it looks set to hold for a while yet given the continued uncertainty surrounding the entire industry.
A fourth Bad Boys is already in the works, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence apparently keen to make up for lost time and capitalize on the huge upswing in popularity for a series that’s been around for a quarter of a century. The most recent movie ended on a happy note with all of the dangling plot threads seemingly tied up for now, but in a recent interview, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilal Fallah admitted that they originally toyed with the idea of a much more downbeat and tragic conclusion.
The filmmakers admitted that they struggled to come up with a fitting climax and considered a number of different possibilities, one of which would have seen Mike Lowrey fail to survive to the end credits, something which would have no doubt sent shock-waves through audiences around the world.
“We had all these different endings, and then with the editing, we used test audiences. You always try to have the feedback of the audience to see which ending was the best. And we got elements of every ending and put them all together. We didn’t know how to wrap it up necessarily. So that’s why we had to try multiple versions. We did a lot of different versions. When Isabel sees that all is lost, she wants to jump into the fire willingly, and she wants to take Mike Lowrey with her. Because, you know, she thinks the son is dead, so let’s all die together. That was a version that was pretty epic and pretty Greek tragedy. It was too much, maybe, but we’ll never know.”
It certainly would have been a bold move for the two newcomers to the franchise to kill off the biggest name in the cast, especially when that would have essentially ended the Bad Boys for good. However, the possibility of more sequels ultimately won out in the end, which is probably for the best given how Bad Boys For Life went on to rejuvenate the series from both a critical and commercial perspective.