Seth Rogen Rewrote Bad Boys II

This weekend brings the release of Bad Boys for Life, but before the movie hits theaters, we’ve got a surprising bit of trivia that just came to light about Michael Bay‘s Bad Boys II.

Even though the script for Bad Boys II was written by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump) and Jerry Stahl (Moonlighting, Twin Peaks), there was a rewrite done by The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up writer/director Judd Apatow, and he asked Superbad and Pineapple Express writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to help him out. Yeah, shit just got real.

This revelation about how Seth Rogen rewrote Bad Boys II with his longtime production partner Evan Goldberg came about suddenly on Twitter in an exchange with /Film contributor Eric Vespe. Here’s how it started:

Then comedian and How Did This Get Made? co-host Paul Scheer wanted to know as much as Rogen was willing to dish about it. Unfortunately, since this happened roughly 18 years ago, he doesn’t remember much, but he did recall a couple of gags that were in the movie that came from their rewrtie. Rogen wrote on Twitter:

Having Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Barnett (Martin Lawrence) not know the words to the Cops theme song is one of the funniest parts of the entire Bad Boys franchise. The reggae song by Inner Circle is the basis for the title of the Bad Boys franchise, even though the “bad boys” part of the song refers to the criminals and not the cops, which was always a little confusing to me. But I digress.

This rewrite happened at a time when Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were clearly just getting started as writers. By 2003, Rogen had already written a few episodes of the FOX comedy series Undeclared, in which he also co-starred. It was essentially a spiritual sequel to Freaks and Geeks with many of the same talents involved, including Judd Apatow as the creator. Clearly Apatow saw potential in Rogen and Goldberg, and the rest is history.

Finding out details like this make us want to know all the other times comedy writers like Rogen and Goldberg rewrote scripts without being credited. Studios always have punch-up sessions where they have comedians add jokes to make a script funnier when necessary, but you rarely hear about what moments actually ended up in the script because of them.

Bad Boys for Life arrives in theaters this weekend, and apparently it’s a good time at the movies.

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