Martin Lawrence And Will Smith Reflect On That Time Bad Boys Was Going To Star Two White Comedians

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

Can you believe it’s been 25 years since the first Bad Boys came out? A lot has changed since then, such as director Michael Bay becoming world famous for helming the Transformers franchise and Will Smith starring in countless blockbusters such as Independence Day, Men in Black and the Aladdin remake. But things could have been very different. At one time, two completely different actors were attached to Bad Boys, and Martin Lawrence and Will Smith were asked about it at the Bad Boys For Life premiere in Los Angeles.

Check out what the two actors revealed about what the action franchise could have been:

Martin Lawrence: This is the best partner that I chose.Will Smith: Yeah, it was Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz, were the original Bad Boys. That would have been a little bit of a different movie.

Well that’s for sure! Today, it’s tough to even imagine anyone else starring in Bad Boys -- even if Will Smith is still willing to talk about it with outlets like ET on occasion --no less Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz. Sure, the pair of comedians were famous in the ‘90s for being cast members on Saturday Night Live. But would it have even been a hit if they were the leads? It’s a completely alternative reality. Take a look at the original Bad Boys below:

Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz in Trapped in Paradise

(Image credit: (Fox))

This isn't the first time this almost casting has been made public, and when Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey were being eyed for Bad Boys, the script was in Disney’s hands and undergoing rewrites. The studio decided to pass on the to-be franchise and Columbia Pictures got ahold of it. Quite a few tweaks were made in its hands, and the rest is history. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence signed on to star in the Michael Bay film, and Lovitz and Carvey would go on to star together with Nicholas Cage in 1994’s crime-comedy Trapped in Paradise.

Thinking back to a shift in direction like this certainly goes to show how influential Bad Boys was on cinema back in the day. Now it wasn’t the biggest hit of 1995 by any means, but the 2003 sequel would make the top 10 of the worldwide box office of that year, with an impressive $273 million haul globally! The first Bad Boys was Michael Bay’s first feature-length movie, and just look at him today.

Not to mention Bad Boys was where an action career began for Will Smith too. Before, he was the Fresh Prince of Bel-AirBad Boys changed that. Apparently, Bay even jokes with the actor about that today, saying he should be “in for half.” Martin Lawrence also made the move to movies too and became a household name thanks to Bad Boys.

Fans have been waiting for 17 years to see the boys get back together, and according to CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell, it’s worth the wait! He gave the film a 3.5 stars in his review, and it’s impressed critics overall too with a 78% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Bad Boys For Life hits theaters this Friday, January 17 alongside Dolittle… which is getting much, much lower praise.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.