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'Bad Boys 4' in the works despite “unfortunate” Will Smith slap

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Sony has confirmed that Bad Boys 4 is still in development following reports that it had been halted due to Will Smith’s slapping incident at the Oscars.

  • READ MORE: A history of Oscar scandals – is Will Smith’s slap really the most controversial ever?

After the actor struck comedian Chris Rock on-stage during the ceremony in March, a report claimed that Sony had paused development on the sequel.

Speaking to Deadline, Sony chairman Tom Rothman has since denied the reports, deeming them “inaccurate” and describing the Oscars incident as “unfortunate”.

“That movie’s been in development and still is,” Rothman said. “There weren’t any brakes to pump because the car wasn’t moving.

Will Smith Oscars
Will Smith won Best Actor at the Oscars 2022. CREDIT: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

“That was a very unfortunate thing that happened, and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment, except to say that I’ve known Will Smith for many years, and I know him to be a good person. That was an example of a very good person having a very bad moment, in front of the world. I believe his apology and regret is genuine, and I believe in forgiveness and redemption,” he said.

Following the altercation, Smith apologised and resigned from the Academy. He was subsequently banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years.

Originally announced in January 2020, Bad Boys 4 will see Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett respectively. It will be the follow-up to Bad Boys For Life, which was released in 2020.

In a three-star review, NME wrote: “Belgian directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have found a way to make a fun sequel that feels like the originals without porting over too much of their wrinkly toxicity.

“It’s baggy, dumb and kind of pointless – but Bad Boys For Life is easily the best movie in the trilogy.”

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