'Bad Boys 3' Cast Adds Vanessa Hudgens And More

The Bad Boys 3 cast is starting to come together. The film has just added Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, and Charles Melton to star alongside Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Hudgens, Ludwig, and Melton are playing a highly-specialized police unit that clashes with Smith and Lawrence's characters on the job. More on the Bad Boys 3 cast below.

Bad Boys 3 (which is officially called Bad Boys 4 Life, which actually makes this sound like the fourth entry in the series, not the third) was an uncertainty for a long time. Stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith kept going back and forth on whether or not they wanted to return to the franchise. Eventually, Smith was all-in, but Lawrence's participation was in doubt. Then in November, the film was officially locked down as Lawrence finally signed on. Now, according to Variety, the rest of the cast is coming on board as well.

Per their story, Alexander Ludwig (Vikings), Vanessa Hudgens (The Princess Switch), and Charles Melton (Riverdale) are the latest additions. The three young actors play "a modern, highly specialized police unit that collides with the old school Bad Boys (Smith and Lawrence) when a new threat emerges in Miami." The story goes that Smith and Lawrence have been doing "chemistry tests" with various actors for four specific roles, and Ludwig, Hudgens, and Melton were the most impressive. The fourth role is apparently that of the villain, which is still being worked out.

This casting suggests that Bad Boys 3 is going to have a storyline involving old school vs. new school, with the aging Smith and Lawrence no longer the young hotshots they once were. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess there are going to be a dozen groan-worthy jokes about Smith and Lawrence being old men now. Who knows, maybe there will even be a scene where Lawrence and Smith say, in unison, "I'm gettin' too old for this shit!"

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are helming the film, taking over from franchise director Michael Bay. The script has gone through a few incarnations. Peter Craig (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Transformers) wrote a draft, and Joe Carnahan (The Grey) did a rewrite. Chris Bremmer is the current writer on the project.

I enjoyed the first two Bad Boys films, for the most part. They're big, loud, and dumb. They're also often terribly tone-deaf – Bad Boys II in particular is often shockingly nasty and offensive. But the prospect of seeing Smith and Lawrence together again is promising, and I'll admit I'm curious to see how this all turns out.

Bad Boys 4 Life opens January 17, 2020.