Will Smith, Martin Lawrence Tease ‘Bad Boys 4’ at CinemaCon: ‘We’re Hype, We’re Excited’

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence kicked off CinemaCon by talking up their return to “Bad Boys” business.

“We’re hype, we’re excited,” Smith told the crowd of movie theater owners. He apologized for not being able to be in Las Vegas for the annual convention of the exhibition industry… sort of.

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“We’re not sorry we couldn’t be there,” Lawrence admonished him, noting they were four weeks into film the fourth film in the franchise.

“We glad we not there because we here and they’re paying us to be here,” Smith said.

Smith and Lawrence are being rejoined in “Bad Boys 4” by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who directed 2020’s “Bad Boys for Life.” The rest of the ensemble will also include franchise vets Paola Núnez, Vanessa Hudgens and Alexander Ludwig, along with “Euphoria’s” Eric Dane. Chris Bremner wrote the screenplay.

For Smith, it’s a chance to turn the page on the ugliness of the Oscars slap incident by reprising one of his beloved roles. He was most recently seen in “Emancipation,” a drama about a runaway slave that was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding his assault of Chris Rock.

The “Bad Boys” series follows Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, two Miami cops with a talent for quips and racking up a lot of civic and vehicular damage while chasing drug dealers and lowlifes.

CinemaCon opens as the movie business is finally rising back to pre-pandemic levels, fueled by hits such as “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” CinemaCon managing director Mitch Neuhauser took the stage to Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.”

“With all due respect to Elton it’s not that I’m still standing… It’s that we’re still standing,” Neuhauser said to loud applause. He noted that it was good to be back in Las Vegas “after all the garbage we’ve been through” and predicted that “the door has closed on COVID.”

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