After languishing in development for several years, Bad Boys 3 is finally back on the right track, with Joe Carnahan coming aboard to write and direct. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are returning as Mike Lowry and Marcus Burnett, but there still hasn't been much revealed about the sequel. Joe Carnahan has now revealed plenty of details in a new interview, where he confirms that he's aiming for an R-rated approach, while teasing that there will be multiple villains.

Sony has handed out a January 12, 2018 release date for Bad Boys 3, with Joe Carnahan bragging in August that the script is the strongest in the entire trilogy. Collider caught up with Joe Carnahan, who revealed that Will Smith has been involved in the process as he works on the script. Here's what the writer-director had to say below.

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"It's been a pretty centralized process. I've been writing this thing for the better part of a year. And at times, Will and I have discussed this too, it's nice to drop back and just worry about the directing part of it and have people come to you, so that you don't burn out completely. We know we have to satisfy X, Y, and Z, let me take a shot at this, and see if it comes back and see if you like it, see if it works. In that respect, Will's been wonderful and a lot of fun, and always a willing participant, always welcoming... It's a constant search for making it better and better and better. And I applaud that, that's a hell of a trait to have, because he could be the other way, like whatever, but that's not his style."

Earlier this year, the director teased a freeway motorcycle chase through a previsualization image. While there will surely be plenty of spectacle in this sequel, the director also says that the story will be more grounded this time around. Here's how he explains it.

"It's a very grounded, as much as it can be, Miami narcotics/robbery/homicide cops [story], two lifelong friends, these things are all appealing to me. That and knowing and doing something that I thought would be interesting, that would be an interesting challenge. Because those other films are Michael Bay's and if you're gonna come in you really gotta take it, you really gotta own that franchise. I came at it from a screenwriter's standpoint and wrote my own version of the story, which is always exciting and fun. That's what it was, being able to, as a writer, put my own spin on that world, more than anything else."

While no specific story details were revealed, the director did add that the story will take place 15 years after the 2003 sequel Bad Boys II, and that they won't ignore this gap of time in between the movies. The filmmaker added how excited he was to explore where Mike Lowry and Marcus Burnett are in their lives, while also teasing that there are multiple villains. Here's what he had to say about the villains below.

"It wasn't challenging [coming up with the antagonist]. It should've been. You've got all these years in the game and you've made all these enemies, you've accumulated all this, so in that respect it would be easy. But I don't wanna say anything else because I don't wanna ruin the delicacy of who our antagonist is, because I think it's very cool. It's not one person. It's a multi-headed hydra, I'll say that. It works beautifully."

The original R-rated Bad Boys, which marked Michael Bay's directorial debut in 1995, took in $65.8 million domestically and $141.4 million worldwide, from a $19 million budget. The 2003 sequel Bad Boys II, which was also rated R, pulled in $136.8 million domestically and $273.3 million worldwide, from a $130 million budget. While we don't have the budget figures quite yet, Joe Carnahan confirmed that he is aiming for an R-rated movie, especially after the success of Deadpool.

"I think it's gonna be R. I don't think we're trying to make a PG-13 version of Bad Boys. We haven't discussed the rating, but both the other films were R-rated; Deadpool made $800 million globally and was an R-rated film, the new Wolverine is R-rated. I think these things don't factor it, my theory is people gravitate more toward R-rated films than PG-13, I think the PG-13 thing is betwixt and between now. It's not fundamentally rooted in any metric where you can go, 'Okay, we can prove that this had success because it was PG-13.' Look at the Matrix trilogy, that was wildly successful and they were all R-rated films. Unless things change, I think we're making a Bad Boys film and that's an R-rated movie."

Jerry Bruckheimer is producing Bad Boys for Life, but it remains to be seen when production will get under way. As of now, Bad Boys For Life will be going up against 20th Century Fox's Maze Runner: The Death Cure and Paramount's Sherlock Gnomes, a sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet. It hasn't been confirmed if other cast members from the Bad Boys franchise will be joining Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but hopefully we'll find out soon.