Bad boys, bad boys! Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when a different director comes for you?! That appears to be the paraphrased song that Sony is singing at the moment as The Wrap is reporting that The Grey helmer Joe Carnahan is engaged in talks to pen the screenplay for the long delayed third Bad Boys movie, with an eye to possibly direct.
The Master of Baysplosion Michael Bay famously directed the previous two movies which saw Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as fast talking, faster shooting and even faster-er driving Miami cops who get caught up in big drug deal plots. Also, totally gratuitously destroying whatever livelihood an already impoverished Cuban community had by driving right through their homes because Michael Bay wants more things to go boom. In case that last sentence wasn’t a dead giveaway: no, I am not a fan of the bloated, ridiculously over-the-top Bad Boys 2 despite how much I loved the first first film.
Even with it’s increased pyrotechnics, that second film – which only came 8 years after the 1995 original – wasn’t as big a success financially as its predecessor though. It made $273 million off a budget of $130 million, which when you factor in advertising costs means it probably only ended up just above the break-even mark. In contrast, the first Bad Boys only cost $19 million to make and ended up grossing a massive $144 million worldwide.
Those diminishing returns could be why it’s been 12 years without a third film, even though they have been trying for some time now. One of other the biggest factors was always about the availability/desire of the principal players (Smith wouldn’t even come back for Independence Day 2, though its stated that Sony are actively pursuing him and Lawrence). If Carnahan takes over, at least we don’t have to worry about Bay’s schedule any more. Another advantage to the passing of the baton is the fact that – and stay with me here – Carnahan is a way better director than Bay, who, as the years has gone by, has just leaned further and further into his oafish displays of excess and slow motion military porn.
Unfortunately, the last time Carnahan did a big budget action tentpole was A-Team which actually had quite a few Bay-isms – and may just be why Sony tapped him for the job. Personally, I would love it if he could tap more into the gritty action stylings we saw him pull off in NARC and the like, but what’s the chances of the studio changing up the formula now?
Last Updated: June 10, 2015