While Bad Boys movie sequel plans remain uncertain, an NBC TV spinoff series starring Gabrielle Union moves forward.


Joseph Baxter

Jan 18, 2018

While the Bad Boys buddy cop film franchise, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, has been dormant since the 2003 sequel, behind-the-scenes plans have been sporadically surging ever since for a cash cow continuation. However, while the latest development stands positive toward the (otherwise tenuous) chances of a would-be Bad Boys 3 movie, a television spinoff project is also on the horizon.

NBC’s yet-to-be-titled Bad Boys television spinoff project has been given a pilot order by the network, according to Variety. It’s an obviously auspicious sign for the Gabrielle Union-led endeavor, which has gone through a long process from its initial pitch to NBC’s eventual production commitment for the pilot.

The would-be series will see star Gabrielle Union reprise her Bad Boys 2 character, Sydney “Syd” Burnett, who, in the 2003 sequel film, was the sister of Martin Lawrence’s Detective Lieutenant Marcus Burnett and also happened to be dating his partner, Will Smith’s Detective Lieutenant Mike Lowery; relationships that surprised both men. However, in the movie, Marcus and Mike eventually learn that Syd is an undercover DEA agent and happened to be investigating the same Cuban ecstasy ring that they were chasing.

While the bulk of Union’s appearance as Syd in Bad Boys 2 took place in Miami, the spinoff series will see her make a fresh start with a coastal migration to Los Angeles, where she will work as an LAPD detective. However, her rough approach and brash personality – apparently masking painful secrets – will clash with new partner, Nancy McKenna. Thus, in the spirit of Bad Boys (with a healthy dollop of Lethal Weapon,) the prospective Peacock Network series will brandish a buddy cop dynamic, except, you know, with a pair of bad girls.

The Bad Boys spinoff pilot was written by Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier, a duo who work for NBC crime drama The Blacklist as writers and producers. The project was reportedly conceived by Primary Wave Entertainment as a vehicle for client Gabrielle Union. Sony Pictures Television will produce. Original film producer Jerry Bruckheimer is onboard, joined by Doug Belgrad, both as executive producers, via 2.0 Entertainment and Primary Wave Entertainment. – There’s no word yet on whether original film series director Michael Bay will be involved.

For Union, the starring role in a Bad Boys spinoff series is a timely opportunity, with her BET drama series Being Mary Jane ending with a TV movie finale after a four-season run. She’s recently been seen in films such as The Birth of a Nation, Almost Christmas and Sleepless. Long before that, she cut her teeth in teen fare and a 1997 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest role, before finding film success with roles in (Heath Ledger breakout film) 10 Things I Hate About You, the original Bring it On and, of course, Bad Boys 2. She also fielded TV runs on City of Angels, the short-lived Night Stalker reboot series and Flashforward.

Whether or not Bad Boys 3 actually ends up becoming a reality, this TV spinoff series is clearly becoming a reality, which could make for a welcoming cross-media IP atmosphere for a connected sequel film that reunites Smith and Lawrence. Of course, with 1995’s Bad Boys being a $141.4 million (worldwide) surprise smash and 2003’s Bad Boys 2 raking in $273.3 million (worldwide), having the film tentpole of Bad Boys 3 would certainly help the TV pilot’s chances.

This article was updated from its original form with new information.