Martin Lawrence says Will Smith slap won’t kill Bad Boys 4: ‘We got one more at least’

Bad Boys actor Martin Lawrence isn’t worried about his co-star Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap jeopardising the franchise’s fourth instalment.

After Smith got up on stage and struck presenter Chris Rock across the face at the 94th Academy Awards in March, it was rumoured that the forthcoming Bad Boys 4 had been put on hold.

An apparently unfazed Lawrence has now told Ebony magazine: “We got one more at least.”

The film series, starring Smith and Lawrence as detective partners Lieutenant Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, has been hugely successful at the box office. The third instalment released in 2020, Bad Boys for Life, raked in $426m (£360m) at the worldwide box office.

“It was big,” Lawrence told Ebony about the success of the first Bad Boys movie. “For us to come together and prove that we can deliver, and we can pull people into the box office — that two Black stars, two sitcom stars, could make money at the box office [was huge].”

Sony chairman Tom Rothman previously refuted the rumours that Bad Boys 4 had been put on ice, telling Deadline in May: “No. That was inaccurate. That movie’s been in development and still is. There weren’t any brakes to pump because the car wasn’t moving.”

Will Smith (left) and Martin Lawrence in ‘Bad Boys for Life’ (Sony Pictures)
Will Smith (left) and Martin Lawrence in ‘Bad Boys for Life’ (Sony Pictures)

On the slap itself, Rothman said: “That was a very unfortunate thing that happened, and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment, except to say that I’ve known Will Smith for many years, and I know him to be a good person.

“That was an example of a very good person having a very bad moment, in front of the world. I believe his apology and regret is genuine, and I believe in forgiveness and redemption.”

Smith apologised for the incident and, after resigning as a member of the Academy, had his Oscar privileges revoked for 10 years after an official ruling by the awards body.