‘Bad Boys 4’ Is Actually Happening, Confirms Will Smith & Martin Lawrence
— Updated on 16 February 2023

‘Bad Boys 4’ Is Actually Happening, Confirms Will Smith & Martin Lawrence

— Updated on 16 February 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

For those who weren’t sold by the earlier reassurances that Michael Bay’s franchise had “one more at least” despite a certain slapping incident, you’ll be relieved to hear both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have just formally announced Bad Boys 4 is going ahead.

 “Yo, I’ve got an announcement. Y’all better stop scrolling. I wish I was you, not knowing what I’m about to show me,” Smith said as he drives towards Lawrence’s home in a video posted on Instagram.

As Smith pulls up to Lawrence’s front door, the duo declare: “It’s about that time!” “Bad boys for life, baby.”

The yet-to-be-titled sequel also hails the return of Bad Boys For Life directors Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah (Ms Marvel, Rebel) and screenwriter Chris Bremner (The Man From Toronto). As for producers, you can expect Hollywood veteran Jerry Bruckheimer, Doug Belgrad, and Chad Oman, alongside Smith and Lawrence themselves.

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Of course, this development is the furthest thing from surprising.

As one of the last blockbusters to hit cinemas in 2020 before COVID-19 brought the world to its knees, the previous instalment – Bad Boys For Life – was the year’s biggest Hollywood movie by default, generating over $426.5 million in box office receipts.

The closest competition it had was Christopher Nolan’s Tenet ($365.3 million), followed by Sonic The Hedgehog ($319.7 million), and Dolittle starring Robert Downey Jr ($245.4 million). The only flicks to beat Bad Boys For Life that year were Chinese war epic slash propaganda The Eight Hundred and feature-length anime adaptation Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train.

Coupled with the fact the first film directed by Michael Bay earned over $141 million against a comparatively meagre $19 million budget while Bad Boys II (also directed by Micahel Bay) raked in over $272 million against a far heftier $120 million budget, and you can begin to understand why nothing was ever going to stop this gravy train.

Anyway, here’s what we know so far about the fourth film so far.

Bad Boys 4: Everything We Know So Far

Has Bad Boys 4 been confirmed?

As outlined above, Bad Boys 4 has indeed been confirmed by both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, as well as Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman,.

According to Variety, the fourth movie will be penned by Bad Boys For Life screenwriter Chris Bremner – although it’s unclear whether his collaborators Peter Craig and John Carnahan will jump on board for this one – while the legendary Jerry Bruckheimer will once again produce via his company Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Columbia Pictures will take the lead.

The return of Michael Bay?

Initially, there were rumours Michael Bay was slated to direct Bad Boys 4, fuelled by an IMDb listing. Since then, however, Sony has tapped Bad Boys For Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah for another round.

How the Bad Boys For Life plot twist & ending sets up a sequel

[Major Spoiler Warning]

For those of you who need a refresher about what happened in the third film, here’s a summary courtesy of Wikipedia:

Isabel Aretas – widow of cartel kingpin Benito – escapes from a Mexican prison with the aid of her son Armando. Isabel sends Armando to Miami, tasking him with recovering a substantial stash of money his father Benito had hidden, as well as assassinating the people responsible for his father’s arrest and eventual death in prison. Isabel demands that Armando kill Miami detective Mike Lowrey last.

In Miami, Mike accompanies his partner Marcus Burnett to the birth of his first grandson. Desiring to spend more time with his family, the aging Marcus tells Mike he intends to retire, to Mike’s chagrin. During a party celebrating Marcus’ grandson, Mike is shot by Armando and left in a coma for months. Chastised by Isabel for targeting Mike first, Armando continues to assassinate other targets on his list during Mike’s convalescence.

Following Mike’s recovery, he is determined to seek revenge and unsuccessfully attempts to recruit the now-retired Marcus, causing a fall out between them. Mike violently obtains the identity of arms dealer Booker Grassie from an informant. Realising that Mike will not heed orders to stay away from the investigation, Captain Howard reluctantly allows him to work with the tech-driven team in charge – the Advanced Miami Metro Operations (AMMO) – led by Mike’s ex-girlfriend Rita.

While the team surveils Grassie at an arms deal, Mike determines that the buyers intend to kill Grassie and intervenes, but fails to save him. Later, Marcus is called by Carver Remy, an old informant who believes the assassin is after him. Marcus contacts Mike and the pair travel to Carver, but are too late to save him. Armando escapes after a fistfight with Mike.

Captain Howard later reveals his intentions to retire as well, offering advice to Mike that he needs to find a path forward in life. He is abruptly assassinated by Armando moments later. The captain’s death pulls Marcus out of retirement, but he intends to work as a team with AMMO. They track down Grassie’s accountant, who leads them to Lorenzo “Zway-Lo” Rodriguez. They infiltrate Zway-Lo’s birthday party leading to a destructive car chase. Armando arrives in a helicopter to rescue Zway-Lo but kills him when he blocks Armando’s ability to shoot the pursuing Mike. As he lines up a shot, Armando tells Mike “Hasta el fuego.” Gunfire from Marcus creates cover for Mike, who falls into the water below.

AMMO is shut down because of the failed operation. In private, Mike reveals to Marcus that Armando may be his son. Before partnering with Marcus, Mike worked as an undercover officer in the Aretas cartel where he met Isabel. They fell in love and intended to run away together, using “Hasta el fuego” as a made-up secret catchphrase. Mike ultimately remained loyal to the police, realising how dangerous Isabel had become. Despite Mike’s opposition, Marcus and AMMO join him in Mexico City to confront her.

At the Hidalgo Palace, Mike meets Isabel and scolds her for concealing the truth from him. A shootout quickly ensues between AMMO and Isabel’s men. Marcus shoots the pilot of Isabel’s support helicopter, causing it to crash into the central lobby, starting a fire. Marcus confronts Isabel, while Mike tries to explain the truth to Armando. Armando begins to beat up Mike, but he refuses to retaliate.

Demanding the truth from his mother, Isabel confirms to Armando that Mike is his father. Realising the task he spent a lifetime training for was a lie, Armando tries to protect his father, leading to Isabel inadvertently shooting Armando in the chest while aiming for Mike. Enraged, she attempts to finish Mike, but Rita intervenes and shoots Isabel, sending her falling to her death into the flames below.

Sometime later, Rita has been promoted to police Captain, while Mike and Marcus are placed in charge of AMMO. Mike visits a remorseful Armando in prison, offering him a chance to earn some redemption, which he accepts.

Which brings us to the next section…

Bad Boys 4

What could the fourth Bad Boys movie be about?

From where we’re standing, the next Bad Boys film is on a collision course to address the following:

Mike & Marcus leading AMMO

The basis for Bad Boys 4 will be Mike and Marcus’ journey from cowboy cops called into their superior’s office to answer for some questionable shenanigans into being said superior(s). Conflicting management styles and manchild moments are always a rich ground for comedy.

Armando’s redemption arc / making up for lost time with Mike

There’s no question that Armando is incredibly proficient. Years of sharpening your skills as an assassin, of course, will do that to you. The most obvious route to tackle his moral and legal redemption, as well as reconnecting him with long-lost dad Mike, would be to recruit him as an AMMO operative. Kind of a White Collar-style agreement where he pays for his crimes by working for the law.

Finally retiring (?)

The idea of retirement was briefly explored in Bad Boys For Life. Neither Mike nor Marcus are getting any younger, and the same can be said about Will Smith and Martin Lawrence hence the latter’s recent talk of “one more.” Hell, Marcus is a literal grandpa now.

As the Heads of AMMO, perhaps Bad Boys 4 will serve as a transition from leaving the cowboy antics behind and commanding from behind a desk. But who knows?

Bad Boys 4

Do we know the Bad Boys 4 cast members?

In addition to Will Smith as Detective Lieutenant Mike Lowrey, Martin Lawrence as Detective Lieutenant Marcus Burnett, Paola Núñez as Captain Rita Secada, plus Jacob Scipio as Armando Aretas / Armando Lowrey, there haven’t been any formal announcements about casting.

Considering Smith’s Mike Lowrey and Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett are now heading up AMMO, there’s definitely an opportunity for its team members to return:

  • Vanessa Hudgens as Kelly (weapons expert)
  • Alexander Ludwig as Dorn (tech expert)
  • Charles Melton as Rafe

And regardless of whether Michael Bay actually directs, he could conceivably make another cameo appearance as a wedding MC or otherwise.

When is the Bad Boys 4 release date?

While Bad Boys 4 doesn’t have a release date scheduled just yet, assuming they begin rolling cameras by the end of this year, we can reasonably expect it sometime in late 2023/early 2024.

Is there a Bad Boys 4 trailer?

At this stage, there definitely isn’t a Bad Boys 4 trailer.

Keep an eye out here for key updates.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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