Bad Boys 4 is a hit.
According to an update from Sony chairman Tom Tothman, the Will Smith & Martin Lawrence movie is still in development – despite rumors suggesting otherwise.
The fourth film was announced in 2020 following the success of the third installment, Bad Boys for Life, the first film in the franchise without director Michael Bay. (“Bad Boys” 3 was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.)
However, reports in April 2022 suggested that Bad Boys 4 may have been put on hold after Smith attacked Chris Rock at the Oscars. Smith was reportedly given 40 pages of a Bad Boys 4 script ahead of the Oscars. Sony chairman Rothman dismissed all claims that Smith’s involvement in the sequel was on hold.
“No. That was inaccurate,” Rothman told Deadline. “This movie was and is still in development. There weren’t any brakes to pump because the car wasn’t moving.”
Referring to Smith’s viral Oscar breakout, Rothman said, “That was a very unfortunate thing that happened and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment, other than to say I’ve known Will Smith for many years know 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 whole world. I believe his apologies and regrets are genuine and I believe in forgiveness and redemption.”
A number of projects under Smith’s direction were halted after the now infamous slap, including Netflix action films Fast and Loose and Bright 2. The AppleTV+ movie Emancipation also pushed back its release date to provide more buffers against Oscar drama.
Best Actor winner Smith will be barred from attending the Oscars for the next decade as part of his disciplinary process.
Original Bad Boys director Bay has previously opened up about the controversy, saying Smith is “not that guy.” Bay also criticized Sony for underestimating the Bad Boys franchise that started in 1995 because the film had two black leads.
“Sony didn’t believe in the film because two black actors don’t sell abroad. They didn’t have faith in it,” Bay explained earlier this year. “‘Bad Boys’ literally changed the game with black actors. It’s the first film that has actually traveled abroad.”
Bay Boys premiered in April 1995 and grossed $141 million worldwide. The film spurred two sequels, with Bad Boys II grossing $273 million in 2003 and Bad Boys for Life grossing $426 million upon its January 2020 release.
To put it bluntly, “Bad Boys” is a box office hit. No studio will refuse this money – slap or not.