It’s been less than 12 hours since Bad Boys for Life has been in theaters, and Sony has already begun plans on a fourth installment. The third film in the franchise reunites Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as buddy cop duo Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, who trade quips as they leap from helicopters and dodge explosions. Did I mention the series was created by Michael Bay?
It’s kind of a no-brainer – Will Smith is still a massive star, and the latest installment in the action comedy series has been getting overwhelmingly positive reviews. (The fact that the movie earned $6.36 million in Thursday night preview screenings, setting a record for the month of January, doesn’t hurt either.) Interestingly, Bad Boys for Life is the first film in the franchise not to be directed by Bay, and its strong performance is a good indication that the series has legs without him.
As reported by THR, Sony has hired Bad Boys for Life screenwriter Chris Bremner to whip up a fourth installment, with the studio assuring that there won’t be another 17-year gap in between films. Yeah, you read that right – nearly two decades passed in between Bad Boys II and Bad Boys for Life. Smith and Lawrence are expected to return, because while directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have proven that you don’t need Michael Bay to make a Bad Boys movie, there’s absolutely no point in making a sequel without both stars.
These are the very early stages, so there’s no release window yet or any indication whether El Arbi and Fallah will return to direct. But this is undeniably good news for fans of the series. For more on Bad Boys for Life, check out our review and watch an interview with two of the film’s stars, Alexander Ludwig and Charles Melton.