We should have known something was up when director Joe Carnahan announced that he was working on an American remake of the Indonesian action classic The Raid. Wasn’t he supposed to be directing the third Bad Boys movie, otherwise known as Bad Boys For Life? Was he going to make them back-to-back? Well, now we know: Carnahan has officially dropped out of Bad Boys For Life and the exact reasons aren’t exactly clear.
The news comes our way from The Hollywood Reporter, with the trade citing different reasons for the departure supplied by different sources. Some say Carnahan left the project over scheduling issues, which could make sense since the project has been twirling its thumbs for years, waiting for the exact right moment when series star Will Smith would be available again. However, THR also says “creative differences” may be involved, which is the multi-faceted phrase that could mean everything from “a courteous and respectful parting of ways” to “someone pissed someone else off real bad.”
To be fair, Carnahan himself is about as busy as Smith. In addition to directing the new version of The Raid starring Frank Grillo, he wrote the latest draft of the Uncharted movie and was hired to pen the X-Force movie for Fox. In any case, Bad Boys For Life is now wide open at Sony, with a November 8, 2018 release date still set on the calendar. With the stars otherwise aligned, the studio simply needs to find someone to slot into the director’s seat.
The biggest hurdle for hiring a new Bad Boys 3 director is that they need to find someone capable of living up to the gonzo insanity of Michael Bay’s original movies. Those two films, especially the 2003 sequel, represent pure, undistilled Bay – it’s not my cup of cocaine-infused tea, but I admire their audacity and world-demolishing spirit. I’m truly in awe of their vile, fascinating existence. Carnahan, no stranger to insane action and cinematic debauchery, was an inspired choice to take over.
So if we’re going to plan an imaginary hire, Sony should consider some potential poetic justice and hire Gareth Evans, the director of The Raid and The Raid 2. After all, this demented action genius is begging for a Hollywood budget and the Bad Boys movies are a crazy-enough canvas to accommodate whatever absurd, bone-crunching ideas he wants to bring to the table. Someone has to give the keys to a major blockbuster to Evans at some point, right?
If not Evans, I’d be absolutely ticked to see someone offer Ben Wheatley a movie like this, especially since the upcoming Free Fire showcases the Kill List director’s action chops. I can’t imagine him actually accepting this gig (or Sony offering it), but he’s demented and twisted enough to come up with something truly memorable. Giving Wheatley $150 million sounds downright irresponsible…and also amazing.
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