The industry is still reeling from the impact of the Will Smith and Chris Rock altercation at the Oscars two months later, as several of Smith’s upcoming projects have either been postponed or declared to be cancelled. Following the incident, there was a report that Bad Boys 4 had also been put on hold, however Sony Chairman Tom Rothman refuted that assertion in a recent interview with Deadline.
When asked specifically about the film’s status during the interview, Rothman responded as follows:
No. That is incorrect. That movie has been and is still in production. The automobile wasn’t moving, therefore there were no brakes to pump. I don’t think it’s really in my place to remark, but I do want to say that I’ve known Will Smith for a long time and that I know him to be a wonderful man. That was a really tragic event that happened. That was an illustration of a very good individual having a very awful experience in public. Because I believe in forgiveness and redemption, I think his apology and regret are sincere.
While it currently makes financial sense for Sony to perhaps decide against developing Bad Boys 4, that is a very different scenario. Over $700 million has already been earned by the franchise as a whole worldwide. The most successful movie in the series, Bad Boys for Life, brought in $436 million worldwide. Despite the fact that the pandemic forced cinemas to close for the majority of the year, it was the highest grossing movie of 2020, and that box office growth is too impressive to ignore. It is understandable why Bad Boys would not be ruled out in an interview where Rothman’s focus was theatrical box office performance.
According to Rothman’s remarks, it appears that the sequel’s development came to a standstill before Smith received the now-famous slap, which resulted in his resignation from The Academy and a ten-year ban from Academy-related activities. It doesn’t change the reality that the project appears to be in a creative limbo and that Bad Boys 4 is most likely not going to be released for at least the next two years, even though Rothman said he thought Smith’s apology was sincere.
Since Bad Boys is a well-liked action franchise and numerous dedicated people have already worked on the series, hopefully a fourth instalment will be released at some point. You can read the entire Deadline interview with Rothman, in which he discusses Sony’s immediate future, as we wait for the next episode of Bad Boys.
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