WTF: Seth Rogen Helped Judd Apatow Rewrite ‘Bad Boys II’

     January 15, 2020

One of the most notorious sequels in recent memory had an uncredited assist from some comedy greats, as it turns out. Michael Bay’s exhausting, epic 2003 sequel Bad Boys II has a reputation for being the most movie. It’s nearly two and a half hours long, it’s chock full of about 200 locations, and the set pieces just. keep. coming. In hindsight this was merely a warm-up for Bay’s incomprehensible Transformers sequels, but as it stands Bad Boys II is still a fascinating example of a director with unlimited resources at his disposal just throwing everything possible at the screen.

But Bad Boys II is also quite funny, and there’s a reason for that. The screenplay is officially credited to Ron Shelton and Jerry Stahl, but with renewed talk of this franchise on account of Bad Boys for Life hitting theaters this week, Seth Rogen took to Twitter to drop a bomb: he helped rewrite the movie and was responsible for some of its best jokes. Yep! As it turns out, Judd Apatow had been enlisted by Bay to rewrite the film, and he brought Rogen and Evan Goldberg—the writers behind Superbad and writers/directors of This Is the End—in to help out.

Rogen made the revelation on Twitter, also revealing that they were responsible for two of the movie’s best gags:

Bad Boys II was released in 2003, which means Apatow, Rogen, and Goldberg were likely working on the film in 2002 or so—after the cancellation of Undeclared, which Apatow created and for which Rogen was a writer. This was also just before Apatow made his feature directorial debut on The 40-Year-Old Virgin, so it was a bit of a fallow period just before all three of these guys would hit it big.

The act of joke punch-ups in a screenplay rewrite is actually not uncommon for a blockbuster nor a Michael Bay movie. Scene-stealer Jason Mantzoukas (The Good Place, The League) previously revealed that he worked in a writers room for Transformers: Age of Extinction and described the process:

“It was really fun. It was wild. I do a fair amount of those types of jobs, where you get called in with a bunch of other funny people to ostensibly work on a movie that’s either about to go into production or has already been shot. They’re just looking oftentimes for more jokes, and so they bring together a bunch of funny people, and those funny people pitch jokes. This was atypical in the sense that Michael Bay was running the room, which was amazing, and so interesting to get his viewpoint on a movie like this.”

So now we have to wonder, which other famous comedians have worked on Michael Bay movies in an uncredited capacity?

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