Spoilers for the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence starrer are touched on in this article, but not in detail.
One of the reasons Bad Boys For Life managed to attract so many viewers on opening weekend was through the movie’s high octane trailers, which involved some crazy action, including a stunt where the bad boys drive through an open mall. That’s a scene that made the trailer but not the movie, and we’ve discussed the moment in full. But luckily, our buddies over at CinemaBlend’s podcast Reelblend actually got to ask the directors about the cut scene.
Speaking to directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell got the chance to ask about the mall scene and why it was ultimately pulled from the movie. The two directors touched a bit on all of the original material that was in the “overly long” first draft of their movie, noting,
Bilall: Well, let’s say when we did our version, the first director’s cut you could say, it was overly long and the action scenes were overly long. We went full ‘Bayhem’ you know? We thought, ‘This is a sequel to a Michael Bay movie, we gotta go loco.’
Adil: There was so much other action going on. They were going over a bridge, you know, when they were driving back it was much longer. And then they go to a mall.
Honestly, I love the idea of them considering Michael Bay's penchant for “Bayhem,” as Bad Boys For Life takes a lot of time to pay tribute to franchise director Michael Bay and the types of shots he loves, not to mention some of the iconic shots from the earlier movies in this franchise. Oh yeah, and there’s that whole cameo from the director in the movie too.
It turns out the directors had to kill some of their creative darlings all in the name of time – and in the name of pleasing Will Smith and Jerry Bruckheimer. Or as they put it:
Bilall: Basically, Jerry and the studio and Will they always kept saying, ‘Cut the action down. Make it shorter, make it shorter.’
Adil: Focus on the characters.
Bilall: Eventually the mall was the last thing to get killed. It was kind of like, ‘Come on, man – he’s driving through a mall!’ They didn’t want that. It’s like one of the things where it didn’t survive sadly. One day if there’s like an extended cut, it’s back in.
I can’t really argue with the end result, however. Although they lost the (seemingly) cool mall scene, the movie’s other action sequences really work to get the ratio of comedy and action to fit the tone of the movie. If you haven’t seen the trailer moment in question, it’s still a pretty cool watch, imo.
I’d assume most of the people who watched both the trailer and the movie probably didn’t even notice the scene from the trailer was missing anyway. Even if they did, there are plenty of other moments that have attracted more notice, including Bad Boys For Life’s wild twist and the mid-credits scene setting up for more. Still, it’s fun to hear how movies come together and how some moments just don’t fit into the final cut.
The good news? If the directors get another shot at an extended cut, they would be very happy to include that scene. So, never say never. You can find more cool facts about the making of the threequel in the full episode of Reelblend.
Bad Boys For Life was #1 at the box office again this weekend, and will probably end up making enough money to justify a fourth movie, which is allegedly already in the works. Maybe that’s when we’ll get an impressive mall scene and maybe not. Either way, I’d expect more “Bayhem.” We’ll keep you updated as the franchise possibly keeps rolling. In the meantime, find out what is 100% greenlighted and coming this year with our full guide to 2020 movies.