Bad Boys For Life was one of those movies that a lot of fans never thought we'd actually see. While there was certainly interest in the project from fans, there just never seemed to be interest at the studio level. Time just continued to pass without any real movement. Even when the project was finally given a release date, that date would just get pushed back again and again. However, while there may not have looked like there was much going on behind-the-scenes, that wasn't really the case. One producer of Bad Boys For Life, says that Will Smith pitched him an idea for a scene for the third film over 10 years ago, a scene which ended up in the film pretty much intact.
Producer Chad Oman has been a long time colleague of Jerry Bruckheimer and has been a producer on many of his films, including both Bad Boys sequels. In the special features attached to the new digital release of Bad Boys for Life, Oman says that attempts to get a third film made started only a couple years after Bad Boys II had been released, and that in 2009, while half a world away, Will Smith was coming up with ideas for what could be in the movie. Apparently, the idea of the falling out between Lowery and Burnett that forms the core of the film was actually Smith's idea. According to Oman...
We started pushing Sony about two or three years after Bad Boys II came out to start developing a new one. I got a phone call from Will, he was on the Great Wall of China shooting The Karate Kid with Jayden. That was 2009, and he pitched a scene where he and Martin break up. It’s basically word-for-word what we shot a couple weeks ago.
The major focus of Bad Boys for Life is on how much things have changed for the title characters in the years since the last movie. Martin Lawrence's character has become a grandfather and is contemplating retirement, while Will Smith's character can't seem to imagine doing anything else. While it took a long time for the third Bad Boys movie to find a script that worked, the scene in which Lowery and Burnett have it out and split up, for a while anyway, has apparently been part of the story for a very long time.
The new film is still, partially due to the theater shutdown, the highest grossing movie of the year, and a fourth film is in early development. Bad Boys for Life is available now on Digital and will hit Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on April 21.