Director Joe Carnahan Dropped Out of BAD BOYS FOR LIFE Because His Vision Clashed with Will Smith

I was super excited about Bad Boys For Life when director Joe Carnahan was on board to helm the film. I’ve always enjoyed his crazy filmmaking style, and it would have worked great for this franchise. Unfortunately, Will Smith didn’t feel the same way. He and Carnahan clashed on the vision and direction of the film, and because of that, Carnahan ended up dropping out of the project.

While talking to Collider, the filmmaker talked about what happened and what led to him leaving. According to him the script he wrote for the film was solid, but it just didn’t work for Smith. It wasn’t what he was looking for in the film.

Carnahan doesn’t hold any kind of grudge against Smith, it’s just the way things played out:

“I love Will, he’s a great guy. I just know myself. And I thought what we were doing at that point was the law of diminishing returns. I wasn’t servicing the story that I was really excited about telling, that the studio had greenlit. And again, this isn’t to throw shade at Will — it’s your face on the poster, it’s your name on the poster, you need to do things the way you want them done.”

Carnahan also went on to say that the ending he wrote for the film was “one of the best endings I’ve ever written in any movie.” I have no idea if this is the ending that we’ll see in the movie, but apparently the basic plot of film is the same one that Carnahan came up with for it.

The story for this sequel will follow detectives Mike (Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) as they find themselves up against a drug cartel. It also involves the two cops working with a hotshot team of younger cops:

“There’s an ammo team, the kind of young go-getters like the 21 Jump Street kids, and there’s still the idea of these guys being kind of 50 and maybe over-the-hill…Like that kind of stuff. There’s still all that.”

Here are the additional story details that were previously released:

The new installment centers on the Miami PD and its elite AMMO team’s attempt to take down Armando Armas (Scipio), head of a drug cartel. Armando is a cold-blooded killer with a vicious, taunting nature. He is committed to the work of the cartel and is dispatched by his mother to kill Mike (Smith). Nuñez will take on the role of Rite, the tough and funny criminal psychologist who is the newly appointed head of AMMO and Mike’s former girlfriend- and the one who got away.

The movie recently wrapped production, and it was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah from a script written by Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, and Carnahan. The movie also stars Paola Nuñez, Jacob Scipio, Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, and Charles Melton.

I have no idea if these directors are a good choice for this franchise or not, but I guess we’ll find out!

Bad Boys For Life will be released on January 17, 2020.

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