Filmmaker Joe Carnahan is denying reports he exited Bad Boys 3 because he was feuding with franchise star Will Smith, insisting he is a huge fan of the actor.
The Smoking Aces director signed on to direct the third film in the franchise in 2015, but he quit the project earlier this month (Mar17), and sources told The Hollywood Reporter the filmmaker was forced to leave because of scheduling conflicts, while insiders claimed creative differences and “bad blood” between him and Smith were the real reason for his departure.
Carnahan has now revealed he dropped out of directing the sequel to focus on his new company with actor and producer Frank Grillo.
“I am and remain a huge fan of Will,” he tells the New York Post’s Page Six. “There was zero bad blood. However, I started a new company with Frank Grillo, and the demands of that pulled me away from BB3 after the long development process. That’s it. No other drama.”
Bad Boys, the popular Will Smith and Martin Lawrence franchise, last hit the big screen in 2003. In August (16) Bad Boys For Life’s release date was pushed back from June (17) to January (18), before Sony pushed it back once more to November next year. It’s not clear when the film will hit theaters following Carnahan’s departure. Before the director’s exit, Smith told Jimmy Kimmel, “It is very, very, very close.”
The first Bad Boys was released in 1995, with Michael Bay directing parts one and two. A third installment has been planned for nearly 10 years, and numerous writers, including Peter Craig and David Guggenheim, have been attached to the project. Bad Boys 4 has also already been announced.