It looks like a "Bad Boys 3" movie is indeed closer to becoming a reality with one of the stars of the film, Martin Lawrence, revealing to Conan O'Brien on his show last night, that he spoke to producer Jerry Bruckheimer the night before, and it's definitely in the works.
It previously wasn't clear whether Lawrence was interested in returning (Will Smith and Bruckheimer have previously shared interest, but Lawrence was noticeably quiet about it), but given his conversation with Conan last night, it looks like he will be back for a third film.
Screenwriter David Guggenheim ("Safe House") is penning the script for the threequel.
Although no word on whether Michael Bay, who directed the first two films in the franchise, will be back as well. He did say during a press junket interview while promoting the 3rd "Transformers" movie in 2011, that he wanted to do it and was, at the time, talking to the actors about it. So we can speculate that he probably will be back as well.
I'd expect "Bad Boys 3" will be even bigger and *badder* than the last 2, which means that it might get expensive for Sony Pictures, with all these likely hefty salaries to pay, and it may not even be worth it, unless they expect it to do really big numbers at the box office. And I don't know if that's a guarantee.
The first film, released in 1995, was cheap at $19 million. Will Smith certainly wasn't collecting the kind of salary he now commands, and likely neither was Mr box office Michael Bay. It was a sleeper hit, earning over $140 million worldwide. The budget for the second film, released 8 years later, in 2003, increased 6-fold to a whopping $130 million! That film grossed about $238 million globally. Not quite the profitable film that the first one was, but still a hit.
What would the budget for a third film be, and what kind of box office can be expected? Sony might opt to go leaner on this one, with a budget somewhere between $19 million and $130 million, with an expected box office take of somewhere between $140 million and $238 million globally.
In essence, your guess is as good as mine.
2 years ago, when asked about the possibility of a 3rd film, here's what Will Smith had to say:
I love making those movies... It's Miami, the tight T-shirt and fast cars, but just at this point in my career the material has to be right. Just because it's a popcorn movie doesn't mean that you don't have something to say. Then, to me, that's hugely important. I'm forty three and I've got probably… I'm looking at maybe seven more years where I can run and jump a little bit and then I'm going butt and gut for the rest of my career. Butt and gut.
Trying to read between the lines there one can say that he didn't seem at the time like he really wanted to do it. At least, not unless he really digs the script.
I should also note that British actors/writers/producers Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters have been developing a UK version of Bad Boys.
Here's Martin Lawrence with Conan last night: