Did Will Smith’s Oscar Slap Sink Bad Boys 4? Here’s What Martin Lawrence Says

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence walking down street in Bad Boys for Life
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

In early 2020, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunited for Bad Boys for Life, their third outings as Miami detectives Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett. The threequel was a critical and commercial success, leading Sony Pictures to greenlight Bad Boys 4. However, in the aftermath of Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, it was called into question whether Bad Boys 4 would still move forward, but now Lawrence is sharing what he knows about the upcoming movie.

For those out of the loop, following Will Smith’s resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the start of April, it was reported that Sony Pictures had pressed pause on Bad Boys 4’s development. Then in May, Tom Rothman, the chairman of Sony’s Motion Picture Group, clarified that Bad Boys 4 is still in the studio’s pipeline. Fast-forward a few Martin Lawrence still expects to re-team with Smith at some point, telling Ebony:

We got one more at least.

So there you have it, further indication that rather than being derailed by the Will Smith slap, Bad Boys 4 remains in the works. When will it arrive? That’s hard to say, although it’s doubtful it’ll be anywhere near as long as the 18 years that passed between Bad Boy 2 and Bad Boys for Life. But as far as he knows, Lawrence expects to reunite with Smith for the fourth Bad Boys entry at some point in the coming years.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s first Bad Boys pairing occurred in 1995, which served as Michael Bay’s directorial debut and saw the two actors catapulted to Hollywood fame after gaining popularity through their respective TV shows The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Martin. With Smith’s Mike Lowery being a notorious rule breaker and Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett being a more by-the-book detective, this duo became one of the buddy cop genre’s most well-known duos, and that dynamic was just as enjoyable during Bad Boys for Life, which was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (although Bay did helm one scene). Here’s what Lawrence had to say about being paired with Smith in Bad Boys:

It was big. For us to come together and prove that we can deliver, and we can pull people into the box office—that two Black stars, two sitcom stars, could make money at the box office [was huge].

As far as Bad Boys for Life is concerned, its supporting cast included Paola Núñez, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton and Jacob Scipio, among others. CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell gave the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars in his review, calling it “an action-packed, personality-fueled installment of a franchise that still has life.” Bad Boys for Life ultimately collected $426.5 million worldwide off a reported $90 million budget, making it the fourth highest-grossing movie of 2020, so it’s no wonder Sony is keen on this franchise going.

While we wait for more updates about Bad Boys 4, take a look through our 2022 release schedule and 2023 release schedule to figure out what movies you’ll check out in the near future.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.