“Bad Boys” director Michael Bay is claiming that Sony “shut the power off” during the production of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s classic blockbuster hit, because they thought it would “fail.”
Bad Boys is a franchise that spans three decades, but not everyone believed in the potential success of Bad Boys. All of the films in the series have gone on to become blockbuster hits thanks to the on-screen chemistry between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but according to Michael Bay, making the first movie proved to be a difficult feat.
Michael Bay is an award-winning filmmaker with an extensive, star-studded resumé and is a respected member of Hollywood creatives, but when he attempted to sway Sony Pictures when he worked on Bad Boys back in the 1990s, the studio didn’t think it would be a hit.
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According to Bay, they did their best to derail production.
Sony didn’t believe in the movie, because two Black actors don’t sell overseas. They had no faith in it,” said Bay. “I was watching James Cameron’s ‘True Lies’ and I’m like, Oh, my god, this guy has so much money. I have only $9 million. And they shut me down, literally. They shut the power off. That’s how rude they were on this movie.”
“Luckily I had 500 days of film set experience doing videos, commercials, working with some of the most famous athletes in the world, and that’s where you really truly know how to deal with assholes,” he added. Because Sony wouldn’t provide the necessary resources that they gave other films, Bay had to be creative while directing.
“I said, ‘Where’s the circle trolley? Get the circle trolley.’ And we made this round move and you guys rise up and it became a very famous shot,” Bay said. “People try to imitate it, but it was a seminal moment.” He said the film “literally changed the game on Black actors,” adding, “It’s the first movie that really traveled overseas.”