Sony didn’t trust ‘Bad Boys’ because ‘two black stars don’t sell abroad,’ according to Michael Bay
Michael Bay, the quintessential action film director, has just released Ambulance: Escape Plan, and he wanted to talk about the Bad Boys franchise (in Spain, two rebel policemen) in full promotion mode.
We learned a few weeks ago that Sony Pictures had canceled the continuation of the Smith and Martin Lawrence police franchise as a result of Will Smith’s slap in the face of Chris Rock. However, as Bay explained to Entertainment Weekly, the Japanese producer never believed too much in the saga.
Sony didn’t believe in the film because it starred two black actors, who aren’t popular in other countries. They didn’t believe it. According to EW, the filmmaker confessed.
The director of films such as The Rock and Armageddon described how similar-genre productions received far more financial support than his own: I was watching James Cameron’s True Lies and thinking to myself, “My God, this guy has a lot of money.”
I only have a total of 9 million. And they effectively silenced me. They turned off the lights; that’s how disrespectful they were to this film.”
Bay, on the other hand, stated that he was able to deal with the economic problem because of his experience. Fortunately, I had 500 days on the set of commercial videos, working with some of the world’s most famous athletes, and that’s where you really learn how to deal with assholes,” she countered.
Bad Cops was released in 1995 with little studio support and grossed $141 million worldwide. The first spawned two sequels, the second of which grossed 273 million dollars, and the final Bad Boys for Life, which was released in 2020, surpassed the 400 million mark.
That’s why Michael Bay dubbed the original film “a game-changer for black actors” and credited it with launching Will Smith’s film career, as it came out before the blockbuster Independence Day.
Will Smith’s beginnings on the big screen were far more complicated than most people realize, because Independence Day was set to star someone other than the current Best Actor Oscar winner.
The studio didn’t want Smith because he wouldn’t work in international markets, according to director Roland Emmerich. Finally, Emmerich defended the actor, threatening to move 20th Century Fox’s product to Universal if the actor did not agree to star in his film.