A third entry into the Bad Boy franchise has long been in the works in some way or another, but the project is now just about ready to go. It’s been thirteen years since the last one, Bad Boys II. Is it too long ago, has the franchise lost relevance? Nah, man. It’s Bad Boys for life.
That’s the title for the newest entry, actually, and director/writer Joe Carnahan sat down with Collider for an informative interview. He first addresses the fact that there has been such a time gape between films:
We’re certainly not ignoring that, and that is a part of it. What happens 15 years on and where’s your life at now and what did you foresee yourself, it’s really rich material in that way. That part I’m really excited about, it’s a lot of exploring where are they now.
He also talked a bit about trying to put his stamp on the franchise:
It’s a very grounded, as much as it can be, Miami narcotics/robbery/homicide cops [story], two lifelong friends, these things are all appealing to me. That and knowing and doing something that I thought would be interesting, that would be an interesting challenge. Because those other films are Michael Bay’s and if you’re gonna come in you really gotta take it, you really gotta own that franchise. I came at it from a screenwriter’s standpoint and wrote my own version of the story, which is always exciting and fun. That’s what it was, being able to, as a writer, put my own spin on that world, more than anything else.
Then he dropped some knowledge on the Bad Boys 3 villain situation, and guess what? There is going to be villains, plural:
It wasn’t challenging [coming up with the antagonist]. It should’ve been. You’ve got all these years in the game and you’ve made all these enemies, you’ve accumulated all this, so in that respect it would be easy. But I don’t wanna say anything else because I don’t wanna ruin the delicacy of who our antagonist is, because I think it’s very cool. It’s not one person. It’s a multi-headed hydra, I’ll say that. It works beautifully.
On working on the scripting process and Will Smith’s involvement in the development of ideas, Carnahan had this to say:
It’s been a pretty centralized process. I’ve been writing this thing for the better part of a year. And at times, Will and I have discussed this too, it’s nice to drop back and just worry about the directing part of it and have people come to you, so that you don’t burn out completely. We know we have to satisfy X, Y, and Z, let me take a shot at this, and see if it comes back and see if you like it, see if it works. In that respect, Will’s been wonderful and a lot of fun, and always a willing participant, always welcoming… It’s a constant search for making it better and better and better. And I applaud that, that’s a hell of a trait to have, because he could be the other way, like whatever, but that’s not his style.
Also, good news for fans of un-curtailed stylized violence in film! Bad Boys 3 is rated R like the first two, probably:
I think it’s gonna be R. I don’t think we’re trying to make a PG-13 version of Bad Boys. We haven’t discussed the rating, but both the other films were R-rated; Deadpool made $800 million globally and was an R-rated film, the new Wolverine is R-rated. I think these things don’t factor it, my theory is people gravitate more toward R-rated films than PG-13, I think the PG-13 thing is betwixt and between now. It’s not fundamentally rooted in any metric where you can go, ‘Okay, we can prove that this had success because it was PG-13.’ Look at the Matrix trilogy, that was wildly successful and they were all R-rated films. Unless things change, I think we’re making a Bad Boys film and that’s an R-rated movie.
So yeah, we have a lot of new information regarding Bad Boys For Life now. Bad Boys 3 is coming, we just have to wait a little bit longer.