Will Smith appeared on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night to promote his new film Bad Boys for Life. The original Bad Boys was released in 1995, followed by Bad Boys II in 2003. And, he explained why it has taken 17 years to make the third film in the franchise.
“What we tried to do – that was really critical and important to me – is not try to just do the old movies again,” explained Smith. “You had to take into consideration the time, had to take into consideration how the characters would have grown. And the reason it took so long is because I didn’t want to make it just as a cash grab. You know, ‘Hey, everybody loves sequels, let’s just do a sequel.’”
Smith added that he “fumbled” with some of his sequels, and he named the Men In Black sequel as the one he really wasn’t happy with. He didn’t specify if he was talking about Men In Black II or Men In Black III. But, according to Entertainment Weekly, he was most likely referring to Men In Black III.
Smith told the crowd that they were going to love Bad Boys 3 because it’s “so good.” He confessed that sometimes when he is promoting a film and says that audiences will love it, it’s not true. But, it’s an expensive movie, so he tells people to go see it. This time, he says he’s telling the truth.
Martin Lawrence recently told Entertainment Weekly that Smith wouldn’t do the movie until the script was right. He said that his co-star pushed for years for writers to get the script right. And, once it was where he wanted it to be, they did the movie.
During his appearance on the Tonight Show, Smith performed a rap duet with Fallon titled “The History of Will Smith,” which started with his days rapping songs as the Fresh Prince with DJ Jazzy Jeff. It proceeded to cover everything from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to Suicide Squad, and after the rap he admitted that he just realized how great his career has been.
“As we were going through, I was kinda like, ‘Wow, that was kinda [great],'” he said. “I had a nice little run.”
Will Smith said his biggest regret when it comes to his career is that he turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix. He revealed that Val Kilmer was going to be Morpheus, but when he turned down Neo they ended up casting Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus to star alongside Keanu Reeves.
Bad Boy for Life opens in theaters nationwide on January 17th.