Michael Bay had to fight to complete the filming of “Bad Boys”. For his first feature film, the director even made a check to Sony so that the studio would let him finish a day’s work.
The detective comedy bad boys
Long before film titanic fights between giant robots, Michael Bay proposed for his first feature film a cop film in the style of The lethal Weapon (among others). With bad boys (1995), it is Will Smith and Martin Lawrence who play two teammates of the Miami police. The first, Mike Lowrey, is a seducer who connects the conquests. The second, Marcus Barnett, is a grumpy family man. Or the barely hidden equivalent of Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh.
Whatever, the result remains absolutely enjoyable with explosions galore, iconic shots par excellence, shootouts in clubs and apartments in Miami and punchlines for each sequence. In short, pure Michael Bay. On the scenario side, Mike and Marcus investigate a case of heroin trafficking. Things get personal when a friend of Mike’s, Max, is murdered. But to find the culprits, they can count on Julie (Téa Leoni)a witness to the murder.
If today Michael Bay has enormous power in Hollywood, it was not yet the case at the time of bad boys. The director had before that filmed many music videos and commercials for major brands (Nike, Coca, Reebok, etc.). Sufficient for the producer Jerry Bruckheimer locates it and chooses it to carry out Bad Boys.
Michael Bay ready to pay to shoot
The filmmaker managed to do his best with a budget difficult to manage. Jerry Bruckheimer recounts (in an interview with QG, from 10min30) that after having been able to reunite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, there remained only a very precise sum allocated solely to filming. And Sony (which produced the film through its subsidiary Colombia) had no no intention of making more money.
It was not enough to stage our vision of the film. But luckily Michael Bay agreed to take care of it.
The presence of Michael Bay was then decisive for the final result of bad boys. As the budget began to exceed, and Sony wanted to stop filming in order not to pay more, the director did not hesitate to put your hand in your pocket to go to the end.
There was a moment when he wanted to finish filming a sequence and the studio said, “We have to turn off the cameras”. And he said, “I’m going to write you a check to end the day.” He therefore made a check to Sony to go after this day. And a few months later it was one of the biggest hits of the year.
A certain audacity which paid off since bad boys reported over $140 million worldwide for an estimated budget of twenty million. An impressive return on investment that would have deserved Sony’s thanks. We would like to know if the studio subsequently wrote a check to Michael Bay to reimburse him, or if he had it canceled. But, on that, Jerry Bruckheimer does not have the answer…