We've been hearing talk about a potential Bad Boys III in the works at Sony for a long, long time now - but it seems that all of those earlier reports only got half the story. As it turns out, the studio is actually developing both Bad Boys III, and Bad Boys IV, and today it was officially announced that the sequels have release dates.

This news comes to us from The Wrap, which has gotten word from the studio about plans for two more Bad Boys installments. While at this time it's unclear who will be directing, and who will actually star, Bad Boys III has been put on the schedule for February 17, 2017 (the same weekend as Fox's The Maze Runner: The Death Cure), and it has been officially said that Bad Boys IV will be dropping on the big screen on July 3, 2019.

This is definitely an interesting development, especially when you consider the details that came out the last time we reported on the forward progress of the Bad Boys series. In June it was reported that Joe Carnahan had been hired by Sony to work on the script for Bad Boys III, and that the studio was hoping to have the film ready to possibly shoot this fall. This plan was formulated because Will Smith will soon be finishing up his work on David Ayer's Suicide Squad, and Sony wanted to make Bad Boys III an option as his next feature. Because we now know that the movie is scheduled for early 2017, it's entirely possible that this is the move that Sony is moving forward with, and that at some point Will Smith agreed to be a part of the production, potentially in addition to a third sequel.

As for who will wind up directing the movie, that's a pretty big mystery at this point. The franchise launched with Michael Bay at the helm of the first two titles, but it seems like there's a distinct possibility that he won't be back for Bad Boys III and Bad Boys IV. If that turns out to be the case, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see Sony hand the reins over to Joe Carnahan as a director in addition to being a screenwriter. It's true that the guy doesn't have an amazing history with intellectual properties (the A-Team movie didn't exactly work out as well as expected), but films like The Grey and Narc have shown him to be a very capable and potentially exciting filmmaker.

Now that we know the movies are actually happening, what are your thoughts on the future of the Bad Boys movies? What kind of adventure would you like to see Will Smith 's Mike Lowrey and Martin Lawrence's Marcus Burnett get caught up in? Hit the comments section with your thoughts.

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