Bad Boys may be For Life, as the current title of the long gestating third outing for Will Smith and Martin Lawrence's unorthodox cops would have us believe. But they are not, apparently, for Joe Carnahan (The Grey), as news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that he has exited the film he had planned to direct.
This latest twist in the saga of Bad Boys 3 comes despite Carnahan having written the most recent draft of the script and closing in on a potential shoot date later this year to meet a 2018 release date. After a few years of different scripts and decision making by Lawrence and, in particular Smith, it seemed as though it would finally come together when Carnahan was hired in 2015 to re-write the film and marshal the madness, a job for which he is clearly qualified.
No official statement has been offered yet, but The Hollywood Reporter's sources point to scheduling conflicts. There is still the chance that creative differences had come into play, though we will likely have to wait for a comment from the often outspoken director at some point in the future. And Carnahan has plenty to keep him busy – he is developing a new take on Gareth Evans' The Raid (2011) alongside actor Frank Grillo (The Grey), so he will likely segue into focusing on that.
As for the new Bad Boys, you can expect Sony Pictures to lock in another director (and possibly a new writer) to carry Michael Bay's explosive mantle.