Yesterday, it was widely reported that Disney wants superstar Will Smith to headline their upcoming live-action remake of Dumbo. Variety ran a second report, this time revealing that Tom Hanks is wanted as the villain. But perhaps most disturbing about all of this is the fate of long-anticipated sequel Bad Boys for Life could be determined by the elephant with the oversized ears.

Yes, according to the trade paper, if Will Smith takes the lead role in Dumbo, it will definitely delay Bad Boys 3. They then go onto say that it could cause the sequel to be 'shelved entirely'. This is surely disappointing news to all the action fans who have waited 15 years for a follow-up to Michael Bay's classic Bad Boys 2. But it also calls into question, what exactly is going on with Bad Boys for Life?

Though it has had its release date bumped a few times already, Sony Pictures set Bad Boys 3 with a January 12, 2018 release date. It won't hit that mark if Will Smith takes on Dumbo instead, as shooting would overlap, and Dumbo becomes the priority. Sony was so confident in the Bad Boys franchise that they even set a July 2019 release for Bad Boys 4. It's possible that Bad Boys 4 could get scrapped and Bad Boys 3 will take its place three summers from now. But nothing is confirmed just yet.

Related: Latest Bad Boys for Life Set Photos Have Will Smith on the Run

As of right now, Will Smith is only in talks with Disney about Dumbo, and his deal is far from closed. If Disney convinces the Suicide Squad star to board this retelling of the classic Disney fairy tale, it will have a serious effect on the Bad Boy franchise and its future. While some speculated yesterday that Will Smith may be playing the elephant via CG in Dumbo, as the actors did in The Jungle Book, he is actually up for a human role. If he takes the part, he will play father to the children that befriend Dumbo in the Tim Burton directed update.

The last we heard about Bad Boys for Life, Will Smith was assuring everyone that production would start very soon, though he wouldn't reveal an exact start date. Martin Lawrence is expected to return alongside Will Smith, but that has never been 100% confirmed by the studio. And for a while, Will Smith was on the fence about even starring in the movie, contemplating a producer role only as two new leads took over the franchise.

Joe Carnahan will take over directorial duties on Bad Boys 3 from Michael Bay when and if it happens. He's been hard at work on the script for quite a while now, also writing Uncharted for Shawn Levy to direct. Will Smith just wrapped production on the Netflix original movie Bright which reteams him with his Suicide Squad director David Ayer. He was last seen in the December flop Collateral Beauty.

B. Alan Orange