Will Smith On The ‘Important’ Way Bad Boys 4 Was Approached During Filming

 Martin Lawrence and Will Smith fist bump on the water in Bad Boys: Ride or Die.
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith fist bump on the water in Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

It took a long time for a third Bad Boys movie to finally get made, but when it did, the Bad Boys For Life box office showed that the long wait hadn’t dampened fan enthusiasm for the franchise. Going back to make Bad Boys 4 was a pretty obvious choice, and it's clearly one of the most anticipated upcoming Will Smith movies, but Smith says Bad Boys: Rise or Die wasn’t just about putting himself and Martin Lawrence in an action movie, as the film needed to find an emotional core if it was really going to work.

While Smith promises EW that the “popcorn part” of the new Bad Boys movie will be everything fans are looking for in an action movie, he says it was important for him that there be more than just that going on. Smith thinks that the friendship between the two main characters is the real reason the movie resonates with fans. He said...

That's the thing that is important [in making] another one: It has to have an emotional base that is interesting and riveting, not just trying to blow some stuff up. At this point in my life, I need the movies to be about something. Part of why Bad Boys works for people is at the heart of it is friendship. At the heart of it is love. At the heart of it is a relationship, and it's the kind of relationship that we all wish we had, somebody that will ride or die with us and for us.

Bad Boys 4 Life picked up years after Bad Boys 2, seeing our two main characters much older and, hopefully, wiser. The movie itself caused major changes in the lives of the characters, with longtime friend Captain Howard, played by Joe Pantoliano, being killed and Will Smith’s character Mike discovering he has a son, something the Bad Boys For Life ending implied would be important in the next film.

Smith promises that when the Bad Boys: Ride or Die release date arrives next month, it will mean even more changes for our heroes. As, 30 years after the franchise began, Mike and Marcus may no longer be entirely on the same page in regards to what they want. Smith continued...

We're trying to expand on what that would mean at this age when people start growing apart and they start wanting different things. You've got 30 years worth of friendship that, for me, it is important in these movies that it gets jeopardized and there is some part of it that has a deeper idea about life, about love, about friendship, about fear. And this one is about fate and what is the part that fate actually plays in the building of a friendship, in a building of life.

The Bad Boys: Ride or Die trailer promised us lots of action and things blowing up, but the people who are invested in the relationship between Mike and Marcus may be for an even wilder ride. Whatever may cause them to grow apart could mean there are plans to make Ride or Die the end of the franchise, but if the box office responds as strongly to this movie as it did the last one, I’m sure somebody can find a way to bring them back together again.