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Bad Boys 4 Release Date, Cast, Director, Writer And More Details

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"Bad Boys for Life" was a surprise smash hit, arriving in January 2020 to stellar box returns, critical accolades, and raves from fans. It was the highest-grossing January release ever, and it was the highest-grossing movie at the domestic box office (2020 was a weird year). Nearly two decades after appearing as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett in "Bad Boys II," Will Smith and Martin Lawrence proved they still had the action chops, deadpan comedy skills, and on-screen chemistry to lead a popular, action-packed franchise.

And now, it looks like those titular bad boys are teaming up again. After a worldwide pandemic and one well-publicized scandal slowed things down a bit, "Bad Boys 4" is officially in the works. But what exactly have we heard about the action flick? Well, from who's showing up in front of the camera to who's calling the shots behind it, here's everything you need to know about the eagerly anticipated "Bad Boys 4."

When will Bad Boys 4 be released?

"Bad Boys for Life" cleaned house at the box office, earning $426.5 million. Naturally, Sony Pictures wanted more of that cash, so "Bad Boys 4" was announced the same month that part three hit theaters. That was back in January 2020, and obviously, a lot has happened since then. The film's progress was slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was also hampered by Will Smith's infamous slap incident, when the actor stormed the Oscar stage in March 2022 and slapped Chris Rock on live TV.

So yeah, there's been a lot holding "Bad Boys 4" back. But if you've been eagerly waiting to see Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett back in action, we've got some good news for you. After Will Smith and Martin Lawrence took to Instagram in January 2023 and excitedly announced that "it's about that time," we learned the two would return to action on June 14, 2024. Granted, filming has been impacted by the SAG-AFTRA strike, but assuming it's resolved soon enough, there's still a good chance we'll see the buddy cop adventure this upcoming June.

However, while we know the release date, we don't know the title. Because the franchise already used a four-based title already with "Bad Boys 4 Life," co-director Adil El Arbi says that he and Bilall Fallah want to name the new film "Bad Boys Ride or Die," although they're still trying to nail that down. "I don't know that they're going to go for it yet," he told "The Discourse podcast."

What is the plot of Bad Boys 4?

At the moment, there's no word on the plot for "Bad Boys 4." But if you'll allow us to speculate, we have a hunch about what might happen. In "Bad Boys for Life," there's a mid-credits scene that teases Armando (Jacob Scipio) may have a role to play in the fourth film. After spending the entirety of "Bad Boys for Life" attempting to assassinate Mike Lowrey for his long-ago involvement in bringing down his parents' cartel, it turned out (shocking twist ahead) that Lowrey was actually his biological father, having had an affair with Armando's mom while deep undercover.

Sure, the kid killed a bunch of people and is now in prison, but the aforementioned stinger suggests that Lowrey may be willing to help negotiate a lower sentence in return for Armando's assistance with a new case — which is likely to form the basis of "Bad Boys 4." Since the kid spent his entire life being raised by the wife of a ruthless drug lord to be an assassin for a Mexican cartel, it stands to reason he has inside information on all sorts of international criminal enterprises, so we're guessing that "Bad Boys 4" could see Lowrey and Marcus Burnett attempting to deal with some shady new organization — one with which Armando has a degree of familiarity — attempting to establish a foothold in Miami.

While previous entries in the franchise leaned more on the "action" half of the "action-comedy" designation, and "Bad Boys for Life" embracing a darker and more serious sensibility, "Bad Boys 4" will be a much lighter film. "I think that there's going to be way more comedy," co-director Adil El Arbi told "The Discourse." "With this one, it's really our purpose to get people laughing and having a good time in the theater."

Who is starring in Bad Boys 4?

Needless to say, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are coming back for "Bad Boys 4," bringing along the wisecracks, shootouts, and an equal dose of comedy and badassery.

So what have these two been up to since "Bad Boys for Life" hit theaters in January 2020? Well, Smith has been busy — for better and for worse. He won an Academy Award for "King Richard," although he sullied his big Oscar night by slapping Chris Rock just moments before winning his gold trophy. After that, Hollywood temporarily cooled on Smith, before the actor made his comeback with Antoine Fuqua's slavery drama "Emancipation," an Apple TV+ film that didn't exactly wow critics or audiences.

As for Lawrence, he hasn't had as many high-profile (or controversial) moments since "Bad Boys for Life." However, he did release a film in 2022, starring as a detective in the serial killer thriller "Mindcage." We can't wait to see these two back on the screen together, sharing their hilarious chemistry while gunning down bad guys. 

As for the rest of the cast, we'll see Vanessa Hudgens of "High School Musical" fame — who previously played weapons expert Kelly in the third "Bad Boys" film — as well as Paola Núnez and Alexander Ludwig. Eric Dane of "Grey's Anatomy" will be showing up as the film's big bad, and Ioan Gruffudd — who played Reed Richards in the two "Fantastic Four" movies from 20th Century Fox — will play a lawyer turned politician. Interestingly, Theresa Randle — who played Lawrence's wife in the previous three movies — has been recast with Tasha Smith, who's appeared in "Empire," "Boston Common," and multiple Tyler Perry projects. Perhaps most excitingly, Rhea Seehorn (Kim Wexler from "Better Call Saul") has joined the cast in an unknown role.

Who is directing Bad Boys 4?

"Bad Boys for Life" was a major hit with pretty much everyone, so why mess with success? When your first movie made tons of money, you bring back the filmmakers who steered your picture to box office glory. And no — Michael Bay isn't the one responsible this time around. While the explosive auteur did bring his particular style of Bayhem to the first two "Bad Boys" movies, part three was helmed by the dynamic duo of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.

In addition to directing "Bad Boys for Life," the duo are best known for their work in the superhero world — for projects we've seen and haven't seen. The two directed the first and last episodes of "Ms. Marvel," and they were also executive producers on the delightful Disney+ series. On the other hand, they're also the duo who directed "Batgirl," the infamous film starring Leslie Grace and Brendan Fraser that was suddenly scrapped by the suits at Warner Bros. The two filmmakers have also directed several Belgian thrillers, such as "Gangsta" and "Rebel."

Who is writing Bad Boys 4?

Just like Sony Pictures is bringing back the directing duo of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, they're also bringing back "Bad Boys for Life" screenwriter Chris Bremner. In addition to penning the previous installment of the "Bad Boys" franchise, Bremner also wrote Netflix's "The Man From Toronto," which put an out-of-his-element Kevin Hart up against a very scary Woody Harrelson. It was also announced in January 2020 that Bremner was attached to "National Treasure 3," an upcoming sequel that still appears to be in the works. If "Bad Boys 4" is anything like "Bad Boys for Life," then bringing Bremner back to write the script is indeed the perfect move.

Where to watch the previous Bad Boys movies

If you just can't wait for "Bad Boys 4" and need to scratch that buddy cop itch, don't worry — we've got you covered.

Released in 1995, the original Michael Bay flick can be streamed on Starz, or if you'd rather spend a bit of cash, you can find it on Prime VideoApple iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube. Similarly, if you want to watch the bigger, badder sequel, "Bad Boys II" is getting real over on Starz. You can also rent it on Prime VideoVuduApple iTunes, Google Play, and YouTube.

As for the third film that will probably directly set up "Bad Boys 4," you can stream "Bad Boys for Life" on Starz. You can also rent the threequel on Prime VideoVudu, Google Play, YouTube, and Apple iTunes.