Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys for Life has been in development for a long time. Last February, director Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, The Grey) showed some pre-viz of an action scene for the film. However, THR is reporting that Carnahan has now left the project. Some of their sources cite scheduling conflicts and others, creative differences. Carnahan had also written the most recent draft of the script. Will Smith, who has been on board for the project for some time said he’d spoken to Martin Lawrence about signing on last year.
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“I saw Martin a few weeks ago,” Smith told BBC 1 in February 2016 (via The Verge). “I haven’t seen him for about two years. We just looked at each other. We hugged. In that moment, we knew we were making another ‘Bad Boys.’ We’re definitely doing another one.”
The film was set for a November 8, 2018 release with a likely fall 2017 production start date. It had also gotten a new title, Bad Boys for Life. This is a reference to Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s characters’ famous motto, “We ride together, we die together, bad boys for life.” Carnahan had taken over directing duties from Michael Bay. The original Bad Boys was released in 1995 and it grossed a relatively tame $65 million, but by the time Smith and Bay returned with Bad Boys II in 2003, they both were big enough names for a $46.5 million domestic opening and a worldwide gross of $273 million.
Carnahan spoke about the cast last August, saying, “There’s only one Will Smith and one Martin Lawrence. You can’t replace those guys and I wouldn’t want to be involved if it wasn’t Will and Martin. They are that franchise.” He described the film, saying, “There’s a lot of funny sh*t in this movie, and there’s also a very mysterious, but tonally spot-on story that I think is kind of perfect for where we are in this day and age, where the guys are and reflectively, a very modern take on these guys. It’s kind of what becomes of Bad Boys when they’re not boys anymore.”
Joe Carnahan’s next projects include development of an English-language remake of the popular Indonesian action film The Raid. What do you think of his departure from the film? Do you still want to see it? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.