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For a moment it felt like Bad Boys For Life co-star and franchise landmark Will Smith wasn’t guaranteed to star in the third film in the series he and Martin Lawrence started together in 1995. Thankfully for the filmmakers and fans invested in the return of Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett, the gap was bridged, and this third blockbuster film included Smith’s participation after all; and it’s all thanks to the modern story that Bad Boys For Life used to bring its iconic duo into the present day.
During the film’s LA premiere, Will Smith filled the crowd in on the following reasons for coming back to the Bad Boys series, and why the script from writer Chris Bremner, based on previous work by Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan was the key to his returning:
I just desperately wanted to have a story that was worth going back to the franchise, and not just going back just because we had made two other ones. I finally got to the point that I felt like it was a story that was modern, but also captured the flavor and the essence of the bad boys. But also a story that needed to be told and wanted to be told in and of itself.
Without spoiling the twists and turns that Bad Boys For Life takes with its story, there were definitely a lot of leaps that were taken with this latest film. Rather than just returning to Will Smith’s Mike and Martin Lawrence’s Marcus being their usual Bad Boys selves, we see both men contemplate their own mortality, retirement, and family.
To incorporate all of those story elements into an action blockbuster that still races ahead at breakneck pace is a pretty exciting prospect, and as Smith told HeyUGuys during the Bad Boys For Life premiere, it was a potent combination that brought him back to the table. Something that not only improved this third film’s chances of being the certified blockbuster it is at the moment, but also probably helped increase the possibility of fans getting to see Bad Boys 4 in the near future.
This weekend saw Bad Boys For Life become Sony’s highest opening weekend for an R-rated film, as well as the second highest MLK weekend opening, with an estimated $68.4 million being raked in by this particular movie. If the studio plays its cards right, there’s a chance that not only could Will Smith find himself returning for another round of crime fighting, he might just help audiences forget that he had some particular reasons for why he’s not a fan of sequels in the first place.
If it wasn't for the modern sensibilities of Bad Boys For Life's story, there's a chance that Will Smith may not have made the film in the first place. Which, in turn, may have killed the series where it stood, after a good long period of delays and setbacks. But now, Smith has a potential franchise to keep returning to, and writer Chris Bremner now has a lot of work on his hands with Bad Boys 4 and the recently revived National Treasure 3 being assigned to his workload after this early, but nonetheless huge success.
Let it be known that with the right words, almost anything can happen; which is why Bad Boys For Life is in theaters now, just in time for a long weekend’s worth of action excitement.