Marvel Studios has turned the idea of movie franchises crossing over into box office success, most recently with the success of Avengers: Endgame. The fourth Avengers film now holds Avatar's previous title as the highest-grossing film of all time, as it brought together all of the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to take on the Mad Titan, Thanos.
Of course, one franchise crossover that was promised to fans was the one between the alien police force of Men in Black and the undercover cops of 21 Jump Street. Though Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones weren't expected to take part in the crossover, there was a legitimate interest in seeing the stars of both franchises interacting together, especially after directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller resurrected Jump Street with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
As we now know, Sony's planned Men in Black/Jump Street crossover never materialized, and the studio's unconventional partnership with Marvel and Disney has seemingly unraveled. However, seeing the first trailer for Bad Boys for Life makes us think a crossover with Universal's blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise would be like printing money.
The more you think about it, and the more you'll realize the buddy cop duo of Will Smith's Mike Lowery and Martin Lawrence's Marcus Burnett would fit perfectly with Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto, especially when you factor in how the Fast and Furious franchise has morphed from focusing solely on illegal street car racing to a world-saving, action-adventure series. For example, Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) debuted in 2001's The Fast and the Furious as an undercover LAPD officer attempting to infiltrate Dom's street racing crew. Brian would soon find himself on the other side of the law, beginning with 2009's Fast & Furious, which helped move the franchise into its bold new direction.
In between both films, Brian actually found himself living in Miami for the 2003 sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious. Miami is where Mike and Marcus fight crime in the Bad Boys movies, and even though they mostly deal with drug trafficking, trouble always seemed to find the former cop. Just imagine a scenario where Brian, Mike, and Marcus all crossed paths while they weave between their respective films, leading to Brian introducing Dominic to two more cops he'll have a hard time trusting -- at least in the beginning.
The first major roadblock in a Bad Boys/Fast and Furious crossover is the fourth Bad Boys film being billed as "one last ride." Marcus was already contemplating retirement in Bad Boys 2, and the new trailer for Bad Boys for Life tries its best to drive that point home again. When Mike finds himself with no one else to turn to, he goes to the only man he can trust, and that's his former partner Marcus. Columbia Pictures certainly wants viewers to believe this is the final installment in the Bad Boys franchise, and Will Smith and Martin Lawrence aren't getting any younger. The studio could view this newest film as a chance to end the trilogy on a high note.
As for Universal, it doesn't have much reason to agree to such a crossover either, except maybe to have Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Will Smith share some screentime together. All three gentlemen have proven themselves to be box office gold across their long careers, and Johnson's addition in Fast Five helped catapult the Fast and Furious franchise to all-new heights. Now, we know a reported feud between Diesel and Johnson is what caused the latter to skip out on Fast & Furious 9 to headline a spinoff with Jason Statham in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, but feelings can be mended. Perhaps Will Smith and Martin Lawrence can be the catalyst to bring Diesel and Johnson back together.
Maybe our dream of a Bad Boys/Fast and Furious crossover actually begins with a team-up in a future Hobbs & Shaw sequel. Instead of immediately giving fans the crossover that we demand, Columbia and Universal can slowly build-up to the event, similar to how Marvel Studios spent over ten years and 22 films building to Avengers: Endgame, compared to Warners Bros.' rushed approach to Justice League.
Ultimately, a Bad Boys/Fast and Furious franchise crossover is not likely to happen. Both franchises are gearing up to end their respective runs, with Bad Boys for Life bringing a conclusion to Mike and Marcus' story, while Fast and Furious is hitting the NOS button to cross the finish line with a tenth film. But for now, we can daydream of a star-studded blockbuster featuring the cast from both franchises.
Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah from a script written by Chris Bremner, Bad Boys for Life stars Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez, Kate Del Castillo, Nicky Jam and Joe Pantoliano. The film opens on Jan. 17, 2020.