Back in August, Sony Pictures announced release dates for 16 new movies hitting theaters between 2016 and 2019. Two of those were Bad Boys 3 (February 17, 2017) and Bad Boys 4 (July 3, 2019), although the studio has yet to confirm whether or not original franchise stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence will be back as Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett. While promoting his first new music single in 10 years, Will Smith appeared on Beats 1, where he was asked about Bad Boys 3 and gave a cryptic response, teasing that the sequel may actually arrive in 2016.
"There's a very, very, very strong possibility that you will be seeing a Bad Boys within the next 12-16 months."
The "16 months" he mentioned matches up almost perfectly with Sony's previously-announced February 17, 2017. If it arrived in 12 months, we'd see it arrive early in October, 2016. It's also worth noting that he never mentions anything about returning to play Mike Lowery. Shortly after the release date was announced, a report surfaced that Will Smith will be involved in some capacity, most likely as a producer, but it hasn't been set in stone yet whether he will come back to star. Martin Lawrence's involvement both in front of and behind the camera has yet to be confirmed either.
We reported in June that Joe Carnahan entered talks to write and direct Bad Boys 3, but his involvement has still not yet been confirmed. David Guggenheim (Safe House) signed on to write the screenplay way back in 2013, although no details were given regarding the story. The script David Guggenheim wrote will certainly change considerably with Joe Carnahan tackling the script. That report revealed the studio hoped Joe Carnahan could get the script done quickly, so the studio could lock down Will Smith and make Bad Boys 3 his next movie.
Another big question mark for Bad Boys 3 is whether or not Michael Bay will be involved in any way. 1995's Bad Boys marked the filmmaker's directorial debut, and he came back eight years later to direct the follow-up Bad Boys II as well. Michael Bay's career has certainly skyrocketed since then, directing the lucrative Transformers franchise, and he is currently in post-production on his war drama 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which hits theaters this coming January. It isn't known if Michael Bay even has any desire to return to the franchise, 12 years after he made Bad Boys II.
As for Will Smith, he will next be seen in the football drama Concussion, which hits theaters on Christmas Day, and then in Warner Bros.' super villain ensemble Suicide Squad, arriving August 5, 2016. Would you like to see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence come back one more time as Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett? Or do you think this franchise would be best served with a younger generation stepping in to take their places?