Bad Boys 3 (officially titled Bad Boys for Life) has been in development hell for a long time. There was a stretch when Joe Carnahan (The Grey) was set to direct, but he eventually dropped out of the project. Now Deadline reports that Sony is in talks with directing duo Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah to helm the sequel, which will bring back Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as bickering cops Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. Jerry Bruckheimer will return to produce, and the production is currently eyeing an August start date.
If El Arbi and Fallah sound familiar, it’s because they’re also attached to another Bruckheimer sequel, Beverly Hills Cop 4, although there’s been no motion on that movie since they signed on back in June 2016. However, they did direct the pilot and episodes of the FX series Snowfall. The duo burst on the scene with their 2015 movie Black and they’ve got another crime drama coming out later this year with Gangsta.
The question is whether there’s still interest in the Bad Boys franchise and if El Arbi & Fallah can match the insanity that Michael Bay brought to the series. The first Bad Boys is a relatively grounded action movie, but Bad Boys II is completely insane. It’s a movie where bags of ecstasy are smuggled inside the fake breasts of corpses and in the third act they invade Cuba. If Michael Bay were returning for the third installment, I’d want to see how he could top himself, but with new directors, it leads to a bunch of new questions for the direction of the franchise.a
Assuming they really can get this thing going by August, it will be interesting to see if they’re able to get it out by 2019 or if they’ll wait until 2020. Either way, Bad Boys for Life enters a very different marketplace than the on Bad Boys II came into in 2003. It’s a blockbuster landscape filled with CGI wizardry rather than wise-cracking cops. That being said, people were more than happy to return for more Jurassic Park when Jurassic World came out, so perhaps people are hungry for the antics of Mike and Marcus.