Last week, Sony Pictures announced that it had pushed its long-awaited sequel Bad Boys 3 from June 2, 2017, where it would have had to face Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman, to January 12, 2018. The sequel was also given the official title of Bad Boys for Life, and it faces considerably less competition in this date, going up against Gnomeo & Juliet sequel Sherlock Gnomes, and Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Today we have new updates from writer-director Joe Carnahan, about why the movie was pushed back so much.

Gizmodo caught up with Joe Carnahan, who came aboard to write and direct this action-packed sequel last June. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed in April that they still are waiting on the script, but now it seems the scripting work is complete. Here's what the writer-director had to say, teasing that it's the strongest script in the whole trilogy.

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"(It's) the strongest script of any of those movies. Hands down. In a walk over. Unless you're Toy Story 3, usually third ones aren't the strongest, and I think this one will be the strongest of the trilogy thus far. There's a lot of funny shit in this movie. And there's also a very mysterious, but tonally spot-on story that I think is kind of perfect for where we are in this day and age, where the guys are and reflectively, a very modern take on these guys. It's kind of what becomes of Bad Boys when they're not boys anymore."

The writer-director wouldn't state how long after Bad Boys 2 this story is set, or if other cast members like Theresa Randle, Joe Pantoliano or Gabrielle Union will be back. He did state that nothing is "off the table," but nothing is set in stone either. Here's what he had to say regarding the casting at this point.

"There are obviously little things you want to tip your hat too but I think the danger is becoming this slavish 'We have to check all these boxes.' There aren't these legions of people demanding your head because you didn't bring back John Salley or you didn't bring back Joe Pantoliano. I think you have to be careful with that. I'm always interested in 'I know what has been done. What hasn't been done?' If not it's just regurgitating old tropes and ideas and that's not fun for anybody."

As for the delay, the writer-director revealed that he wanted to get everyone together, stars Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, in the same room to make sure that they were on the same page when it came to the script. However, due to Will Smith's commitments to Suicide Squad, that became quite difficult, which lead to the release date delay. Here's what Joe Carnahan had to say about the importance of bringing everyone together.

"We couldn't all get in a room, go through this thing and really ring it out. I'm a big believer in 'Do the work at the script level until you've got something you know works.' That everyone is happy with, the stars are happy with, the director is happy with, the studio is happy with. Jerry's been an integral part of this thing since we started. He's fantastic. He's always got a really great idea when you need one. He's always Johnny-on-the-spot with that stuff. Relationships don't just happen. You have to cultivate them. You have to gain trust and encourage their own creative and artistic sensibilities."

Last August, Sony revealed that both Bad Boys 3 and Bad Boys 4 were moving forward, with the studio originally setting a February 17, 2017 date for Bad Boys 3, that was later pushed to June 2, 2017 and then January 12, 2018, and a July 3, 2019 date for Bad Boys 4. While Sony hasn't officially changed the date for Bad Boys 4 quite yet, original stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence will be back for both movies. Here's what the director had to say about making sure the franchise comes back in the right way.

"There's only one Will Smith and one Martin Lawrence. You can't replace those guys and I wouldn't want to be involved if it wasn't Will and Martin. They are that franchise. When you're coming back after 15 years, you better come back with a home run ball. And I really believe that's what we have....We've got a responsibility to make something that's absolutely equivalent or exceeds what comes before. That's a really important thing for all of us."

Production is scheduled to start in early 2017, but we're not sure where the director may film this sequel. Earlier this year, he teased a freeway chase scene while doing pre-viz work, but we don't know how it will fit into the story. Stay tuned for more on Bad Boys 3 as soon as more updates are available.