Filming has officially finished on the third “Bad Boys” film which sees directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah taking over a franchise which had Michael Bay at the helm of its first two entries.
The project has famously been in development for many years with several names attached to direct at one time or another. The one that previously came closest to getting a green light was “The Grey” filmmaker Joe Carnahan who was linked to the project for around two years right before the current iteration moved forward in 2017.
Speaking with Collider recently, Carnahan discussed why he left the project and what might have been if he had stayed aboard. In the process he indicates Will Smith (who stars and produces) made changes and he understands why:
“[My script is] phenomenal. But it’s no more. I love Will, he’s a great guy…Listen, I always say this. Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, you find me a motherfucker in the modern era that’s walked away from movies with those guys and is still working in some capacity. I just know myself, man. And I thought what we were doing at that point was the law of diminishing returns. I wasn’t servicing the story that I was really excited about telling, that the studio had greenlit. And again, this isn’t to throw shade at Will – it’s your face on the poster, it’s your name on the poster, you need to do things the way you want them done.
[My script had] one of the best endings I’ve ever written in any movie. I think we budgeted a $12 million dollar action sequence – and I think they’re doing a portion of it – I had a sequence where they’re on a Gunbus, which is a German motorcycle. They changed it, now it’s like a sidecar, not a good idea, whatever. [Laughs] It’s one of the greatest.”
What script work he did has been rewritten heavily, though some of his ideas have survived the transition it seems including the basic setup:
“There’s an ammo team, the kind of young go-getters like the ’21 Jump Street’ kids. And there’s still the idea of these guys being kind of 50 and maybe over-the-hill, and now you gotta develop a mid-range game like [Michael] Jordan, because you can’t dunk anymore and you can’t take anybody off the dribble. Like that kind of stuff. There’s still all that.”
He also revealed his version had a joke aimed at Oscar winner “The Danish Girl” which he hated and so in his proposed film a poster of it gets blown apart. “Bad Boys For Life” opens in cinemas on January 17th 2020.