For a quick and brutal reality check, google Bad Boys II and then bask in the glory of its 2003 release date — meaning the ecstasy-themed sequel debuted 12 years ago. Of course, those 12 years have been heavily littered with rumors of a Bad Boys III — rumors seemingly strengthened by the sheer existence and surprising quality of a third entry in one of Will Smith's other money-breeding franchises, Men in Black.

According to Deadline, the currently franchise-hungry Sony Pictures is in serious talks with The Grey director Joe Carnahan to direct Bad Boys III from a well-received script by David Guggenheim (the writer behind the 2012 Denzel Washington / Ryan Reynolds pairing Safe House). Deadline reports that Sony is attempting to fast-track the guaranteed blockbuster in an effort to catch Will Smith following his upcoming role in Suicide Squad.

The first two entries in the Bad Boys franchise further solidified the unique charm and star power of both Smith and Martin Lawrence, a duo with just enough watchability to properly balance the visual antics of a pre-Transformers Michael Bay. Though reviews were predictably unkind for both films, their individual worldwide box office takes were hundreds of millions strong — i.e. practically critic-proof. A similar fate likely awaits Bad Boys III, though Smith's understandable hesitance to participate in the forthcoming Independence Day sequel might spell complications for the development process.

More to come.