Writer-director Joe Carnahan (‘The A-Team,’ ‘The Grey’) has some big shoes to fill following on from Michael Bay on ‘Bad Boys For Life,’ the long-delayed third film in the action comedy series with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
However, he seems confident he’s up to the task – and that the long wait (‘Bad Boys II’ was released in 2003) will be well worth it.
Carnahan tells IO9 that ‘Bad Boys For Life’ has “the strongest script of any of those movies. Hands down. In a walk over.
“Unless you’re ‘Toy Story 3,’ usually third ones aren’t the strongest, and I think this one will be the strongest of the trilogy thus far.”
It sounds like the third film will deliver the laughs and thrills fans of the series would expect – but perhaps some more sophisticated storytelling than we saw in the first two movies.
“There’s a lot of funny s**t in this movie. And there’s also a very mysterious, but tonally spot-on story that I think is kind of perfect for where we are in this day and age, where the guys are and reflectively, a very modern take on these guys.
“It’s kind of what becomes of Bad Boys when they’re not boys anymore.”
Part of making sure the film is done right is making sure all the key players were on board, and this proved difficult given Will Smith’s busy schedule, hence the film’s release and production dates have been rearranged a couple of times.
“We couldn’t all get in a room, go through this thing and really ring it out. I’m a big believer in ‘Do the work at the script level until you’ve got something you know works.’ That everyone is happy with, the stars are happy with, the director is happy with, the studio is happy with.”
While original director Michael Bay has vacated the big chair, the other key figure behind the scenes – producer Jerry Bruckheimer – is still very much on board. “Jerry’s been an integral part of this thing since we started. He’s fantastic. He’s always got a really great idea when you need one. He’s always Johnny-on-the-spot with that stuff.”
Of his actors, Carnahan enthuses, “There’s only one Will Smith and one Martin Lawrence. You can’t replace those guys and I wouldn’t want to be involved if it wasn’t Will and Martin. They are that franchise.
“When you’re coming back after 15 years, you better come back with a home run ball. And I really believe that’s what we have….We’ve got a responsibility to make something that’s absolutely equivalent or exceeds what comes before. That’s a really important thing for all of us.”
Carnahan’s got a very busy year ahead. As well as ‘Bad Boys For Life,’ he’s got action movie ‘Wheelman’ with Frank Grillo on his directorial slate, and is penning the screenplay to the long in-development video game adaptation ‘Uncharted.’
‘Bad Boys For Life’ is due in US cinemas 12 January 2018 – no UK release date has been announced yet.
Picture Credit: Sony