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Bad Boys was a breakout hit for Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and director Michael Bay, and the sequel Bad Boys II was so deliberately outrageous that it was almost a total parody of the very idea of an action movie. After the excess of the second film, a third chapter seems not only superfluous, but highly unlikely. How do you follow that?

But perhaps it isn’t so unlikely. We’ve known for a while that Columbia Pictures had Peter Craig writing a script. Michael Bay has indicated that he’s willing to return, should the issue of money be figured out — he and Will Smith cost a lot these days. Now Martin Lawrence (who doesn’t command such a high price of late) is saying that Bad Boys III is definitely happening.

MTV
talked to Lawrence while he was promoting Death at a Funeral, and he says “It’s real realistic,” with respect to the prospect of actually making a third film.

Any time you can get Big Willie to come out and talk about doing a third installment of a hot movie like ‘Bad Boys,’ you have to take notice. I met with Michael Bay, and he said he’s onboard too — so it’s real…We’re just waiting on Jerry Bruckheimer to let us know when it’s really real.

I’m not sure what the difference is between ‘real’ and ‘really real,’ but I guess it is a nod from godfather producer Bruckheimer. Appropriately, it sounds as if Lawrence is one of the driving forces behind a third film. Of the core team, he’s got the most to gain, certainly.

But Lawrence and Smith reportedly had so much fun making the second film that they called studio chief Amy Pascal and said they wanted to be part of another one. And there was that possible easter egg in Transformers 2, where a ’3′ was written on a Bad Boys II poster, which suggests to the optimistic that Bay truly is ready to make this really real.

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