Chad Boys: Before Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, These Two Actors Were Considered for Bad Boys

Jon Lovitz (front) and Dana Carvey perform as they kick off their 20-show residency “Reunited” on Jan. 6, 2017, in Las Vegas.
Jon Lovitz (front) and Dana Carvey perform as they kick off their 20-show residency “Reunited” on Jan. 6, 2017, in Las Vegas.
Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images for SLS Las Vegas)

There are two undeniably difficult things in life: getting up to go to work on Monday morning after a four-day weekend and imagining Bad Boys without Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.


Well, thanks to the inner-workings of Hollywood, you have to imagine it today. Twitter account @BHMatter (Black Heroes Matter) posted a screenshot of James Andrew Miller’s Power House: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artist Agency on Thursday morning.

In a passage from the book, actor-producer Ken Stovitz (who has some history with Smith as the producer of Seven Pounds and his son Jaden Smith’s The Karate Kid) says, “Bad Boys was written for John Lovitz and Dana Carvey. I had been searching for Will’s hiatus film, so when that fell apart, they went with Will and Martin. No one knew, no one thought the movie had any foreign value. I used to hear that kind of racist comment all the time. He broke every rule and every stereotype. I mean, Bad Boys kind of shocked people, and then Independence Day blew the lid off. Then there was a series of incredible hits like Men in Black and Enemy of the State.”

Stovitz was an agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) at the time and Smith convinced him to partner up with him at his production company, Overbrook Entertainment. “It was a beautiful experience to produce with Will and James [Lassiter] and Jada [Pinkett Smith]. It still is,” Stovitz noted.

After debuting in April 1995, Bad Boys went on to gross over $141 million worldwide at the box office. Oh, and because of that racist and since-debunked comment, it’s important to point this out—the film made more money internationally ($75,600,000 versus $65,807,024, domestically), according to Box Office Mojo.

Because I’m apparently about that investigative reporting life, I had to double-confirm this bit of news and it tracks! In a 2010 interview with our very own family, The A.V. Club, Lovitz confirmed he and Carvey were initially considered to take on the roles of the successful buddy comedy.


“[Don] Simpson and [Jerry] Bruckheimer, they wanted Dana, and then they added me into it afterward,” Lovitz said. “But the script—oh, another George Gallo script—the script was awful. They rewrote it for three months, but Disney didn’t want to do the new script. They wanted to do the original one, and it ended up going to Columbia. And Barry Josephson—who is a friend and used to be my manager—he decided to make it with two black actors, and that’s what happened. It was disappointing. I wanted to do it.”

Yaaaas! Cheers to the blackwashing agenda! An agenda that continues into 2020, as the third film in the franchise, Bad Boys For Life, will be releasing in theaters on Jan. 17.


A Note From News Editor Monique Judge: Did you know that in 1983, Sean Penn and Esai Morales starred in a movie called Bad Boys? It is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s very good. If you are searching for it on Google, you have to include Sean Penn’s name in the search, however, because otherwise the only things that come up are related to the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence franchise.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.


Nina Lemone

With offense to Lovitz and Carvey, I’m glad they didn’t make their version of Bad Boys because it sounds like...