Sony’s Chairman has recently confirmed that Will Smith will be reprising his role in Bad Boys 4 despite Oscar’s controversy.
Following recent controversies surrounding Will Smith’s altercation with Comedian and Actor Chris Rock at this year’s 94th Academy Awards, Sony has confirmed once again, that Bad Boys 4 is still in production and Smith will in fact, reprise the iconic role of ladies’ man, Detective Mike Lowrey.
The franchise, which originally debuted in 1995, is one of Producer and Director Michael Bay’s longest-running franchises. Now, working on the fourth instalment of the series, Bad Boys is set to take over Bay’s Transformers in due time. Unfortunately nowhere near as successful at the box office as the Transformers series, Bad Boys has gathered a huge cult following over the years and remains one of the few strong action-comedy series in modern cinema.
Although Bad Boys 4 had originally been confirmed following the release of Bad Boys For Life in 2020. The pre-production process had been plagued by multiple delays due to script disagreements and furthermore, scheduling issues as Smith had been committed to other projects at the time.
The lack of update behind the project, ultimately causation for rumours and word that the sequel had been shelved following Smith’s Academy Awards episode.
During this year’s 94th Academy Awards, Chris Rock introduced himself on stage in the usual fashion, roasting some familiar faces in the crowd. Turning to Will Smith’s wife, Jada. Rock made the following jibe:
“Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane II,’ can’t wait to see it”
The remark was inspired by Demi Moore’s groundbreaking performance in the 1997 War Drama G.I. Jane (1997). A film based on true events in which a female successfully enlisted in the navy SEALS posing as a male. One of the film’s most iconic scenes is the one in which Moore goes Full Metal Jacket, shaving all of her head. Moore, method at the time, doing it for real.
While many in attendance seemed to find the funny side of the joke, Smith was far from amused. Especially seeing that Jada has openly discussed her ongoing battle with the disease alopecia areata. The condition of which causes patterned baldness before causing total hair loss in severe cases.
Following the awards ceremony, the Academy announced it would be placing a ban on the Oscar winner. The news ultimately cast future uncertainty on Smith’s career and stance in the public eye. Although many fans across the internet seemed in favor of Smith’s actions, the act itself at the time, seemed irreversible in the eyes of production studios in Hollywood.
After all, it’s not very often an actor self-sabotages his career and wins acting’s highest accolade on the same night.
That was until Sony chairman Tom Rothman confirmed in an interview with Deadline this month, that
“The movie [ Bad Boys 4] has been in development and still is. That was a very unfortunate thing [Academy Awards] that happened, and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment, except to say that I’ve known Will Smith for many years, and I know him to be a good person. That was an example of a very good person having a very bad moment, in front of the world. I believe his apology and regret are genuine, and I believe in forgiveness and redemption.”
While it was reported that Will Smith received 40 pages of the Bad Boys 4 script prior to the Oscars, there are still no updates on the film’s pre-production process.
By the looks of it, Bad Boys 4 will be scheduled for release in early 2024. This time, hopefully with Bay back in the Director’s chair.