'Bad Boys 3' Bringing Back Joe Pantoliano's Police Captain

The two key components of the Bad Boys franchise are Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but if you're naming three important names, the third would probably be Gabrielle Union. The fourth name might be Michael Bay, while a fifth could be Tea Leoni. At some point, you might toss Joe Pantoliano's name into the mix, who is confirmed to return to the franchise with the third film, Bad Boys for Life, as revealed by Deadline.

The actor played Captain Howard in the original 1995 film and returned to reprise his role in the 2003 sequel. Pantoliano also starred in films like The Matrix, The Goonies, Memento, and Congo. The film is scheduled to start shooting next month.

Fans have been waiting for quite some time to get official news about the upcoming film, as Michael Bay first teased that it was happening back in 2008. Given the massive popularity of its two leads, it seemed unlikely that they could figure out a way to come together for a third film.

Smith and Lawrence were both stars in the '90s, with each starring in sitcoms (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Martin, respectively), using that notoriety to transition into big-budget movies. Following Bad Boys, Smith went on to star in movies like Independence Day and Men in Black, while Lawrence starred in Nothing to Lose and Big Momma's House.

Throughout much of his career, Smith has gone from one massively success film to another, including Ali, I Am Legend, and multiple Men in Black sequels. One of Smith's most recent massive successes was 2016's Suicide Squad, in which he starred as Deadshot. A follow-up Suicide Squad film is reportedly being developed by filmmaker James Gunn, though it's unclear if Smith will be returning to that franchise, as early rumors about the sequel claim that Gunn will introduce an all-new team.

Lawrence, on the other hand, has been much more selective with roles in the last decade, leading some Bad Boys fans to think a third film would never come to fruition due to his potential lack of interest. Luckily, Lawrence's seeming excitement for the project has proved the doubters wrong, though it's still possible the production could hit a roadblock in the near future that derails the project yet again.

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Chris Bremner wrote the most recent script while Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are attached to direct.

The film currently has a January 7, 2020 release date.