“Bad Boys for Life”, the third title in the 25-year-old franchise starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, is set to open to a strong $68.4 million, making it the second best MLK weekend of all time, after 2014’s “American Sniper” ($107.2 million). So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Sony Pictures is plotting a fourth movie.
According to a new report in Variety, “Bad Boys for Life” screenwriter Chris Bremner, who co-wrote the script with Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan, is set to return and write the fourquel.
No details on what story the fourth film will tell, although the open ending of the third film all but suggested that the franchise would continue.
Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (replacing Michael Bay, who directed the first two), “Bad Boys for Life” follows detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) reuniting once again to solve a string of murders. All of the crimes are connected by an old case that involved Lowrey, putting his life in jeopardy.
The film sat in development hell for over a decade, with various writers and directors attached. Production was finally set in October 2018, with filming taking place during the first half of 2019 in Atlanta and Miami.
The movie, which opened on January 17, 2020, co-stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Núñez, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam, and a returning Joe Pantoliano as police chief.
The threequel also reps the best opening for the action buddy-cop franchise, outperforming 2003’s “Bad Boys II ($46.5 million opening weekend), and “Bad Boys” ($15.5 million).
The second most expensive movie in the franchise, with a $90 million budget, it’s on track to top the trilogy in total box office. “Bad Boys” grossed $141 million worldwide, on a $19 million budget. And “Bad Boys II” grossed $270 million worldwide on a $130 million budget.
Reviews have been mostly positive for “Bad Boys for Life,” with a 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes score. IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich called it a “fun, explosive, and even thoughtful action movie that updates Jerry Bruckheimer bombast for the modern age of multiplex cinema.”
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are expected to return for the fourquel, but no word on whether directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will do the same.
The film franchise even spawned a television series starring Gabrielle Union, who appeared in the second installment, alongside Jessica Alba, in a spin-off titled “L.A.’s Finest,” which aired on Spectrum in 2019, and was renewed for a second season set to premiere in 2020.