It’s been more than a decade since Will Smith and Martin Lawrence last suited up as Miami narcotics officers Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett in Bad Boys 2, but a sequel to that surprise hit could indeed be moving forward, according to a recent update on the project.
Joe Carnahan, who directed The A-Team and The Grey (among other recent action films), is reportedly in talks to direct Bad Boys 3 based on a script from Safe House writer David Guggenheim. Deadline indicates that the project is being fast-tracked by Sony Pictures with the hope of making it Will Smith’s next film after the DC Comics supervillain movie Suicide Squad.
The original 1995 franchise-starter Bad Boys played a key role in launching the movie careers of both Lawrence and Smith, as well as director Michael Bay, who returned to helm the 2003 sequel. Celebrated for the explosive visual effects that would become a hallmark of Bay’s work, both R-rated films were a pleasant surprise for the studio, collectively earning more than $414 million worldwide. Bad Boys 2 currently ranks as the 11th highest-grossing film of all time among buddy-comedy action movies released in the U.S.
There’s no word on whether Smith and Lawrence are entertaining the idea of a return to the Bad Boys franchise, although the report suggests that the studio is pushing to bring both actors back to the roles they first played 20 years ago.
For his part, Carnahan has done a nice job of establishing himself as exactly the sort of filmmaker that would be right at home with a film like Bad Boys 3. Equally comfortable with the grim, gritty tone of 2011’s The Grey — popularly regarded as the movie in which Liam Neeson fights a pack of wolves — and the more bombastic action of the 2010 television series adaptation The A-Team, Carnahan would likely draw from both wells in order to bring the Bad Boys franchise back to theaters.