I’ve always said, for as long as a “Bad Boys 3” movie has been rumored to be in the works (which has been many years), by the time it eventually goes into production, both actors will be over 60 years old! Well, maybe not after all, as Sony Pictures has put an official release date on the threequel, for next year actually – June 2, 2017 – and has confirmed a director for it as well, Joe Carnahan (last year, word on the street was that Carnahan was “in early talks” to both re-write the script for the movie as well as direct).
So I suppose we can now say that it’s official, barring any unforeseen events, of course. “Bad Boys 3” is a go. I assume it’ll be filmed later this year (one of its stars – Will Smith – just begun production on his next film, “Collateral beauty” for New Line Cinema, which is set for release during awards season later this year. He’ll likely follow that up almost immediately with filming on “Bad Boys 3” over the summer).
Martin Lawrence is of course returning as well to co-star in the film, although no other casting has been announced at this time. We should know more in the coming months (including plot), if Sony remains on track.
Our last update on this was over a year ago when Martin Lawrence revealed to Conan O’Brien on his late night show, that he spoke to producer Jerry Bruckheimer just prior to his appearance on O’Brien’s program, and was told that the threequel was definitely in the works.
It previously wasn’t clear whether Lawrence was interested in returning (Will Smith and Bruckheimer both had shared interest, while Lawrence had been noticeably quiet about it), but given his conversation with Conan, it looked like he would indeed be back for a third film.
Screenwriter David Guggenheim (“Safe House”) was penning the script for the film, which Joe Carnahan has now rewritten (or is still rewriting). This obviously means that Michael Bay, who directed the first two films in the franchise, will not be back to direct the third film.
I’d expect “Bad Boys 3” will be even bigger and *badder* than the last 2, which means that it might get expensive for Sony Pictures, with likely heftier salaries to pay (Smith and Lawrence will probably demand more money than they received many years ago for the first 2), and it’s a question whether it may even be worth it for the studio; unless they expect it to do really big numbers at the box office. And I don’t know if that’s a guarantee, quite frankly. I’m sure it’ll do well, but are Will Smith and Martin Lawrence still the box office draws they both once were, just a few years ago, especially after a handful of underwhelming returns for Smith movies in recent years? But maybe this is exactly the kind of movie that fans want to see both actors in, and “Bad Boys 3” will serve as a sort of return to form for them.
The first film, released in 1995, was cheap at $19 million. Will Smith certainly wasn’t collecting the kind of salary he would go on to command years later; and likely neither was Lawrence. It was a sleeper hit, earning over $140 million worldwide. The budget for the second film, released 8 years later, in 2003, ballooned 6-fold to a whopping $130 million!! That film grossed about $238 million globally. Not quite the profitable film that the first one was, but still a hit.
What would the budget for a third film be, and what kind of box office can be expected? Sony might opt to go leaner on this one though, with a budget somewhere between $19 million and $130 million, with an expected box office take of somewhere between $140 million and $238 million globally. I wouldn’t expect superhero movie or “Fast & Furious”-like numbers.
In essence, your guess is as good as mine.
Four years ago (talks of a threequel have been in the air for a while, like I said), when asked about the possibility of a 3rd film, here’s what Will Smith had to say: “I love making those movies… It’s Miami, the tight T-shirt and fast cars, but just at this point in my career the material has to be right. Just because it’s a popcorn movie doesn’t mean that you don’t have something to say. Then, to me, that’s hugely important. I’m forty three and I’ve got probably… I’m looking at maybe seven more years where I can run and jump a little bit and then I’m going butt and gut for the rest of my career. Butt and gut.”
Trying to read between the lines there, one can say that he didn’t seem, at the time, like he really wanted to do it. At least, not unless he really digs the script, which might be why Sony has ordered at least a couple of rewrites since talk of a 3rd film went public. But you know what they say about scripts that have been *touched* by numerous writers…
One last related thing to mention… You’ll remember, 2 years ago, when Sony Pictures was hacked, which resulted in, amongst many things, leaked emails between Sony execs and talent, which were distributed all over the Internet for the world to read. Needless to say, the web had fun with the more sensational, juicy stuff – like the email from Scott Rudin in which he called Angelina Jolie a “minimally talented spoiled brat.”
And while this wasn’t as damning as that, one of the leaked emails included discussion of another “Jump Street” film (a 3rd) that would crossover with Will Smith’s “Men in Black” franchise. That’s right! You read that correctly. How exactly the studio planned to make that happen, wasn’t revealed in any of the emails, but “Jump Street” star Jonah Hill is/was certainly on board with the idea, telling Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal at the time, in an email: “jump street merging with mib i think that’s clean and rad and powerful.”
I didn’t then, and I still don’t see it; but maybe you do. According to the email, directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller were on board as producers and potential directors of that movie mash-up; although, also per the emails, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones would not be involved. There was no script (back then), but, as the emails also revealed, the project was greenlit based on the concept alone. Sony execs even sought Steven Spielberg’s participation (since he’s the man behind the “Men in Black” franchise), sending an email to his attorney, stating: “We didn’t do as well as we had hoped for on the last MIB film, but that hasn’t caused us to lose faith in the franchise. In reality, the exact opposite has occurred where we all have an opportunity to take an interim step on the way to hopefully forging ahead again in the pure-play MIB universe.”
At the time, the idea was so unbelievable to me, and I called it ridiculous; but the studio clearly sees a way for the 2 universes to collide on screen that I can’t immediately picture, as it’s also been reported, via Deadline, that Sony has also put into development a movie called “MIB23” (as in “Men in Black” and what was to be “23 Jump Street” – the second film was titled “22 Jump Street”), which “moves Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill from school narcs to alien hunters.”
James Bobin has replaced Phil Lord & Chris Miller in the director’s seat for that movie, which may be released as early as in 2017.
This reads like a dumb and desperate idea to me. I should note that I’m not a fan of the “Jump Street” movies, so maybe I’m biased. But with this email leak, I wonder if Sony will continue on with this crossover path with other movies, especially if “MIB23” is a hit. I should note that the studio was already gearing up for “23 Jump Street” as well as another “Men in Black” movie, so someone over there obviously thought that a single combo film made more sense.