It may have taken the best part of a decade to make it to the screen, but Bad Boys for Life proved to be a bigger-than-expected hit for Sony Pictures, with the buddy cop threequel grossing $426.5 million upon release – the most for any Hollywood movie in a pandemic-stricken 2020.
As you might expect with those kinds of figures, Sony wasted little time in giving the go-ahead to a fourth outing for Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett and Will Smith’s Mike Lowrey. However, those plans now seem to have been derailed as THR is reporting that the studio “will now pause” development on the film as the backlash against Will Smith continues follow his escapades at the 94th Academy Awards.
According to the trade, Smith had been sent around 40 pages of script for Bad Boys 4 prior to the Oscars, where he made history as the first Best Actor winner to come out of the Academy Awards ceremony with worse career prospects than they had going into the night.
While Sony has put Bad Boys 4 on hold, Smith has also lost another project in the wake of his attack on Chris Rock, with Netflix deciding to halt plans for the action-thriller Fast & Loose. The film lost director David Leitch ahead of the Oscars, and it seems the streamer is not looking to replace him on the project, which it acquired as a package last year after a competitive bidding war.
Smith – who resigned from the Academy this week ahead of disciplinary action from the industry body – does have one other project in the can in Apple TV+’s Emancipation. The slavery drama is currently in post-production and was expected to arrive later this year, although it currently remained undated. Meanwhile it remains to be seen if the recently announced I Am Legend sequel will be impacted.