Will Smith, Martin Lawrence reteaming for 'Bad Boys' sequel

FILE - Co-stars Will Smith, left, and Martin Lawrence appear at a photo call for their film "Bad Boys for Life", in Paris on Jan. 6, 2020. Smith and Lawrence are teaming up for a fourth Bad Boys movie, in one of Smiths most high-profile new projects since he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. Sony Pictures announced Tuesday that the untitled Bad Boys sequel is in early pre-production. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File) (Thibault Camus, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK – Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are reteaming for a fourth “Bad Boys” movie, in one of Smith's most high-profile new projects since the slap.

Sony Pictures announced Tuesday that the untitled “Bad Boys” sequel is in early pre-production. In a video posted on Instagram, Smith filmed himself driving to Lawrence's house. Embracing at the door, Smith exclaims, “It's about that time!”

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Development on the “Bad Boys” sequel, which follows 2020's “Bad Boys for Life,” was reportedly put on hold after Smith hit Chris Rock at last March's Academy Awards. But last May, Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman disputed those reports.

“There weren’t any brakes to pump because the car wasn’t moving,” said Rothman. “That was a very unfortunate thing that happened, and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment, except to say that I’ve known Will Smith for many years, and I know him to be a good person. That was an example of a very good person having a very bad moment, in front of the world. I believe his apology and regret is genuine, and I believe in forgiveness and redemption.”

Shortly before the pandemic shuttered theaters, “Bad Boys for Life” was a box-office hit, grossing $426 million worldwide. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is returning for the fourth film, as are “Bad Boys For Life” directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.