Bad Boys for Life got positive reviews, but will there be a Bad Boys 4? After the Will Smith Oscar slap, things are uncertain for the franchise.
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Bad Boys For Life.
Bad Boys for Life was released to positive reviews, but Will Smith’s slap at the 2022 Oscars has cast a shadow over the future of Bad Boys 4. Movie director Michael Bay helmed the original two franchise installments, but the third movie was stuck in development hell for years with different filmmakers coming and going. Bad Boys for Life premiered in January 2020, leaving the option for the storyline to continue in future installments.
In Bad Boys for Life, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as Detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, respectively. After Mike gets shot and nearly killed outside a Miami nightclub, the duo investigates a series of assassinations and tracks down a vengeful and highly-dangerous Mexican woman named Isabel Aretas (Kate del Castillo), along with her executioner son Armando Armas (Jacob Scipio). Meanwhile, a separate tragedy forces Mike and Marcus to rely on the task force AMMO, led by Mike’s long-time associate Rita (Paola Núñez).
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Bad Boys for Life has received mostly positive reviews, despite the movie’s opening weekend numbers at the box office. Bad Boys 4 had been picked up by studios to be released, and a script had already been made. Here’s what to expect (or not expect) for Bad Boys 4 moving forward.
Will There Be A Bad Boys 4?
After the original Bad Boys was released in 1995, a full eight years passed until the sequel Bad Boys 2 premiered in 2003. By 2015, Sony Pictures announced plans for the production of a third movie and even a fourth movie. But various pre-production issues involving the directors, screenwriters, and cast delayed the process, and so the primary focus eventually became Bad Boys for Life. However, Sony Pictures was officially developing Bad Boys 4, which they confirmed the day Bad Boys For Life was released in theaters. Unfortunately, the project has been put on indefinite hold, and it won’t be released any time soon. Sony delayed Bad Boys 4 due to the controversy surrounding the Will Smith Oscar slap, despite a script being made and the studio being geared up for pre-production.
What Bad Boys 4’s Story Would Be
Bad Boys 3 ends with the revelation that Armando Armas is Mike Lowrey’s son. Before partnering up with Marcus, Mike worked undercover in Mexico and formed a romantic relationship with the “stone-cold killer” Isabel Aretas. In Bad Boys for Life’s climax, Isabel falls to her death and Mike reveals the truth to Armando. Bad Boys For Life’s post-credits scene teases a possible storyline for Bad Boys 4, as Mike informs his son about a potential opportunity to repay his debts to society. Bad Boys 4 would theoretically involve Armando working with the AMMO task force, with the possibility of Smith and Lawrence reprising their franchise roles.
When Bad Boys 4 Will Release
Past Bad Boys delays suggested that Bad Boys 4 wouldn’t release anytime soon. But Sony Pictures moved forward with the development of a fourth installment just as the third movie hit theaters, suggesting that Bad Boys 4 could release in the near future. Given the production timetable for Bad Boys For Life, it stands to reason that Bad Boys 4 could’ve been released by 2023. Things have been muddied due to Will Smith’s Oscar slap, so the release of the next installment to the Bad Boys franchise now lies in the realm of uncertainty. There’s already a built-in setup for Bad Boys 4’s story, so getting that underway shouldn’t be too difficult should Bad Boys 4 go down in the future.
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Why Bad Boys 4 Is On Hold
Many are curious as to why Bad Boys 4 updates are scant, especially when one considers the success of the buddy cop movie Bad Boys For Life. This time the delays have nothing to do with the pandemic. Instead, the weight of this decision lies on the Fast + Loose actor’s shoulders. After the infamous Will Smith Oscar slap, all of his movies have been put on hold, which includes Bad Boys 4. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Smith received 40 pages of the Bad Boys 4 script before the now notorious 2022 Oscars. The news of Bad Boys 4’s hiatus came on the same day that Smith offered an apology and his resignation from the Academy for slapping Chris Rock, but this doesn’t mean that an apology will be enough to push the movie back into production any time soon. It’s an unfortunate repercussion for the Fast + Loose actor’s actions, as audiences have been more than ready to receive Bad Boys 4 with open arms.
Other Consequences of Will Smith’s 2022 Oscars Slap
Will Smith’s Oscar slap not only overshadowed the other triumphs made at the Academy in 2022 but also damaged the actor’s career in a lasting way. As of now, all movie projects for Will Smith have been put on hold, even though Smith has issued an apology. It seems like he won’t make an appearance on the big screen for quite some time. Both Netflix and Sony have decided to halt any and all of his movies, post the Oscars slap. The latest Netflix film that was set to star Will Smith, Fast + Loose, was in starting to look for a new director in the form of David Leitch (Deadpool 2, and the John Wick franchise). Unfortunately, Smith’s conduct at the 2022 Oscars prevented Fast + Loose from finding a new director, and the Netflix movie has been put on indefinite hold. Will Smith was also set to star in an Apple TV+ show named Emancipation. There haven’t been any official updates saying that the series has been canceled, but the show remains in the balance of “post-production” despite a slated 2022 release date. After the Will Smith Oscar slap, the actor has resigned from his role in the Academy, and his actions are currently under investigation. All of this means that viewers will have to wait a while for any Bad Boys 4 updates, or those on any other Will Smith movies, for that matter.
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Bad Boys for Life (2020)Release date: Jan 17, 2020
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Q.V. Hough is a senior writer at Screen Rant. He’s also the founding editor at Vague Visages, and has contributed to RogerEbert.com and Fandor.
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