"Here's the thing. I love Will, he's a great guy. It's just, you get to a point where ... listen, I always say this. Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, you find me a [expletive] in the modern era that's walked away from movies with those guys and is still working in some capacity," Carnahan told Collider.
"I just know myself, man. And I thought what we were doing at that point was the law of diminishing returns. I wasn't servicing the story that I was really excited about telling, that the studio had greenlit. And again, this isn't to throw shade at Will — it's your face on the poster, it's your name on the poster, you need to do things the way you want them done."
The ending of Carnahan's original script is "one of the best endings I've ever written in any movie," he said.
"You know what it was? It was a tee up to, 'Here we go, it's on,'" Carnahan added.
"I think we budgeted a $12 million dollar action sequence — and I think they're doing a portion of it — I had a sequence where they're on a Gunbus, which is a German motorcycle. They changed it, now it's like a sidecar, not a good idea, whatever [laughs]. It's one of the greatest."
That original action sequence would have seen the destruction of a billboard advertising The Danish Girl, which Carnahan says he "f—ing hated" with "the white hot heat of a thousand suns."
"I think those guys are all really talented, I just hated that movie, me personally," Carnahan said of the 2015 Tom Hooper romantic drama that starred Eddie Redmayne and won Alicia Vikander an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. "I'm sure they hate my movies."
Asked if he retains a writing credit, Carnahan offered an "mhm."
"No, listen, there's an ammo team, the kind of young go-getters like the 21 Jump Street kids, and there's still the idea of these guys being kind of 50 and maybe over-the-hill, and now you gotta develop a mid-range game like [Michael] Jordan, because you can't dunk anymore and you can't take anybody off the dribble. Like that kind of stuff. There's still all that," Carnahan said.
"I just don't pretend to kind of, I'm not gonna bitch about it — listen, I bitched about Death Wish and then saw a residual check the other day, I was like, I said to myself, 'Shut the f— up.'"
Sony's Bad Boys for Life re-teams Smith and Martin Lawrence with franchise newcomers Paola Nuñez and Vanessa Hudgens. Filming commenced under directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Gangsta) for a January 17, 2020 release.
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