Joe Carnahan Admits Creative Clash With Will Smith Prompts His 'Bad Boys 3' Exit
WENN/Columbia Pictures

Two years after he walked away from 'Bad Boys for Life', the 'Smokin' Aces' director breaks down the real reason behind his departure, but assures that he still has nothing but respect for the 'Bright' star.

AceShowbiz - Filmmaker Joe Carnahan walked away from the third "Bad Boys" movie after falling out with leading man Will Smith.

"The Grey" director signed on to write and take charge of the sequel in 2015, but he quit the project in March, 2017, amid reports of a scheduling conflict, while some industry insiders blamed a clash between himself and Will for his departure.

At the time, Carnahan insisted he had "zero bad blood" with the franchise star, and claimed the demands of his new production company with actor and frequent collaborator Frank Grillo had forced him to step down from the project.

"That's it. No other drama," he told the New York Post's Page Six.

However, Carnahan now admits he and Will just had a difference of opinion about how the storyline should pan out, and he decided it would be best for all involved if he stepped down as director.

"Listen, I love Will, he's a great guy...," he told the Collider podcast. "I just know myself, man. I thought what we were doing at that point was the law of diminishing returns. I was servicing the story that I was real excited about telling, that the studio had greenlit (sic)."

Despite the creative clash, Carnahan insists he has nothing but respect for the "Men in Black" superstar.

He added, "This isn't to throw shade at (criticise) Will - it's your name on the poster, it's your face on the poster; you need to do things the way you want...".

The only thing the moviemaker regrets is not getting to shoot an epic action sequence for the "Bad Boys 3" finale, which would reportedly have cost Sony Pictures studio bosses a stunning $12 million (£9.3 million).

"The end of my original Bad Boy's script is one of the best endings I've ever written for any movie...," declared Carnahan. "I think we budgeted a $12 million action sequence, and I think they (new directors) are doing a portion of it."

Rising directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah wrapped filming on the upcoming movie, now titled "Bad Boys for Life", on Friday, April 19.

The film will feature Will and his co-star Martin Lawrence reprising their roles as Miami Police Department detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, characters they first introduced to fans in 1995's "Bad Boys" and its 2003 sequel, "Bad Boys 2".

"Bad Boys for Life" is due to open in theatres in January, 2020.

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