Will Bad Boys 4 Happen? Jerry Bruckheimer Gets Asked After Will Smith Movie Was Paused Following Oscars Brouhaha

After overcoming the odds, 2020’s Bad Boys for Life debuted as a box office smash almost two decades after its precursor. The complicated production history of this Will Smith-led sequel saw tons of setbacks, departures and pushback before landing a certified hit. It was enough to encourage momentum on the development of Bad Boys 4, but more recent events --aka the Oscars brouhaha -- have pushed the flick into limbo. So, of course, we're always hoping for an update, and the recent opportunity to speak with Jerry Bruckheimer presented one.

While sitting down with Bruckheimer during the Top Gun: Maverick press day, our own Sean O’Connell asked for an update on Bad Boys 4. The subject became even more of a timely point of order after Will Smith saw a couple of his projects put on hold in the aftermath of him slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, one of those movies being the hotly anticipated sequel to Bad Boys 3. Jerry Bruckheimer told CinemaBlend the following:

I can’t answer that question other than to (say), people who are higher up have to make that decision.

To note, while Bruckheimer is certainly towing a line here, at the very least, the comment indicates Bad Boys 4 hasn’t been cancelled yet, unlike Bright 2, which was cancelled by Netflix five years after its predecessor’s debut. Compared to the road that Smith, Lawrence, and Jerry Bruckheimer travelled to make Bad Boys for Life happen, there's only been a short period of bad news here. 

With Bad Boys II scoring another hit in the franchise that Michael Bay helped build, one iconic shirtless Will Smith scene at a time, it took over a decade for things to finally happen for its follow-up. Seventeen years passed, as well as a phase where action director Joe Carnahan was going to be helming a different incarnation. Eventually, Carnahan dereeparted, and directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were given Bad Boys for Life’s directing duties, as well as some blunt advice from Bay himself.

For a movie like Bad Boys 4 to be sitting in such an uncertain limbo is always tough. All of the history leading up to the most recent entry, and the results gained from that work, should have been enough of a justification to move forward. Times change and circumstances shift along with them, so we’ll have to wait and see just what the future may hold for Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s adventures.

At least there’s another long-awaited legacyquel heading to theaters in the near future, thanks to the impending arrival of Top Gun: Maverick on May 27th. That’s just one of many upcoming movies that’ll be sure to pack audiences into theaters. So weigh your options carefully, as you wouldn’t want to miss a moment of the fun.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.