"Bad Boys 3" just got real.
Martin Lawrence said progress is being made on a third installment of the shoot-'em-up action-comedy franchise starring him and Will Smith as a pair of loose-cannon Miami cops.
"I just talked to [producer] Jerry [Bruckheimer] yesterday and he said it's real, they're working on the script, they're getting close, and it all looks good," Lawrence said during an appearance Wednesday on "Conan."
Directed by pyrotechnics maestro Michael Bay, "Bad Boys" (1995, Bay's directorial debut) and "Bad Boys II" (2003) followed the misadventures of smooth-talking narcotics cop Mike "Mike Lowrey" Lowrey (Smith) and his goofy family-man partner, Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) Both movies adhered to the familiar buddy-cop playbook — mismatched partners, internal-affairs drama, quippy lines, damsels in distress — while dressing up the proceedings with over-the-top action and Bay's trademark gloss.
Despite poor reviews, the two movies combined to gross more than $414 million at the worldwide box office.
It's unclear how quickly we would see a new movie though.
A threequel has been in development since at least 2009, with both Peter Craig ("The Town") and David Guggenheim ("Safe House") reported as potential writers.
And Lawrence, who hasn't appeared on the big screen since 2011's "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son," has been beating the "Bad Boys 3" drum for some time. Back in 2010, he told MTV "It's real realistic." And last month he wrote on Facebook, "11 years ago today, 'Bad Boys II' was released in theaters. Feelin' it's about time for number 3 … what do you think Will Smith?"
During his Conan visit, Lawrence did make sure to drop Smith's name but didn't confirm his old partner's involvement in the threequel. Bay is also not confirmed.
It's far from certain whether Smith would want to reprise a role that he first played at a very different stage of his career, though a new "Bad Boys" installment could also be a tonic for what have been some recent box-office ailments.
None of these obstacles have stopped Lawrence, who was on O'Brien's show to promote his new series "Partners," from talking about casting, stunt and otherwise. He even offered the host a role in the movie as "a crooked cop on crack," adding that he would "mention it to Will Smith and Jerry Bruckheimer."