Martin Lawrence has shut down any rumors that Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap has killed development on “Bad Boys 4.”
The “Bad Boys for Life” star told Ebony that the fourth installment of the franchise originally helmed by Michael Bay is still moving ahead.
“We got one more at least,” Lawrence hinted.
“Bay Boys” premiered in April 1995 and grossed $141 million worldwide. The film spurred two sequels, with “Bad Boys II” earning $273 million in 2003 and “Bad Boys for Life” grossing $426 million after releasing in January 2020. In the franchise, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence play detective partners and brothers Lieutenant Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, respectively.
“It was big,” Lawrence explained to Ebony of the first “Bad Boys” movie. “For us to come together and prove that we can deliver, and we can pull people into the box office — that two Black stars, two sitcom stars, could make money at the box office [was huge].”
Lawrence added, “I didn’t go to college, so I felt TV was my college years. I felt with movies, I had graduated; it was just different.”
Sony chairman Tom Rothman previously gave an update on “Bad Boys 4″ saying despite previous rumors, the film is still slated to star Smith and Lawrence and remains in development. The fourth film was announced in 2020. Smith reportedly received 40 pages of a “Bad Boys 4” script ahead of the Oscars. Sony chairman Rothman refuted any claims that Smith’s involvement in the sequel was put on hold.
“No. That was inaccurate,” Rothman told Deadline. “That movie’s been in development and still is. There weren’t any brakes to pump because the car wasn’t moving.”
As for Smith’s viral Oscars outburst, Rothman said, “That was a very unfortunate thing that happened, and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment, except to say that I’ve known Will Smith for many years, and I know him to be a good person. That was an example of a very good person having a very bad moment, in front of the world. I believe his apology and regret is genuine, and I believe in forgiveness and redemption.”
“King Richard” Best Actor winner Smith is banned from attending the Academy Awards for the next decade as part of his disciplinary proceedings.
Original “Bad Boys” director Bay previously weighed in on the controversy, saying that Smith is “not that guy.” Bay also slammed Sony for underestimating the “Bad Boys” franchise that started in 1995 since the film had two Black leads.
“Sony didn’t believe in the movie, because two Black actors don’t sell overseas. They had no faith in it,” Bay explained earlier this year. “‘Bad Boys’ literally changed the game on Black actors. It’s the first movie that really traveled overseas.”