Most important question of the day: What are you going to do when “Bad Boys 3″ comes for you?
Whether you want it or not, a third “Bad Boys” film is in the works, as “Safe House” scribe David Guggenheim has just been hired to write the script for Sony Pictures and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Beyond that, little is known. It’s been 10 years since the last “Bad Boys” film, and as of now, there’s no sign of Will Smith, Martin Lawrence or Michael Bay returning for more shotgun-pumping, chest-thumping action.
And that’s just not going to fly.
Guggenheim, if you’re reading this, please keep the following tips in mind as you write “Bad Boys 3.”
Original Model Only
Don’t even attempt to use the word “reboot” here. The only reason to make another “Bad Boys” is if Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are on board.Those two actors chewing scenery together — that’s the reason these films work. If Smith and Lawrence won’t return, don’t even think about recasting their roles, or rebooting the franchise with the same Marcus Burnett/Mike Lowrey names. In fact, if Smith and Lawrence are out, it’s probably best to just leave this one alone completely.
Bring Back Bay
Even though he’s busy winning millions upon millions of dollars through the “Transformers” franchise, Bay has recently proven a desire to stick to ground-level action. Look no further than “Pain and Gain” for proof of that — that Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson-starring action-comedy is vintage Bay at its finest. If Bay can’t direct, then he has to produce. Deadline’s report indicates that Bay is uninvolved at the moment, and that’s unacceptable. So, let’s go over it again: No “Bad Boys” without Smith, Lawrence and Bay. Got it? Good.
Don’t Forget Your Pants
Joey Pants, that is! Part of what made the first two “Bad Boys” films so great is the supporting cast surrounding Smith and Lawrence. “The Matrix” and “The Sopranos” actor Joe Pantoliano as Captain Howard is right up there on the list. Gabrielle Union as Syd Burnett, Marcus’ sister and Mike’s girlfriend, also registers. The world of “Bad Boys” is already established and populated by characters we care about. Take a page from the “Fast & Furious” franchise, and continue to grow that mythology out.
If there’s any area that a “Bad Boys” sequel could actually improve, it’s the villain department. There’s an opportunity here to create an unforgettable villain, someone who stands shoulder to shoulder against Mike and Marcus. The series has never cast a name actor in the main antagonist role, and it’s time to fix that. Guggenheim, you need to write a delicious evil baddie, someone a high-level actor can sink his or her teeth into. My unsolicited advice? Channel your “Safe House” actor Denzel Washington, then send him a script.
PG-13 Isn’t Enough
Films like “The Dark Knight” and the “Fast & Furious” franchise have shown that studios and filmmakers can accomplish dark-and-gritty on a lower-rating, but that’s not going to work here. Colorful language is part of the art of a “Bad Boys” movie. The one, well-deployed F-bomb works for some pictures, but it needs to fly as free as automatic gunfire here. And that’s another thing: action, action, action. The “Bad Boys” films have inventive violence in spades, and the third film needs to have that same R-rated level of freedom.
Really, the takeaway is this, Guggenheim: just keep doing what the original “Bad Boys” films were doing. Keep the original team and spirit close, and you won’t go wrong. Stray away from that even a little bit, and it’s lights out.