The Bad Boys are back.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return to our screens for “one last ride” in the highly anticipated Bad Boys For Life.

Whether you’re going to dive straight into the latest movie or binge on all three - which you can do on Sky Cinema with NOW TV - we reckon you’ll love these titbits of knowledge to get you in the mood.

1. Bad Boys wasn’t the original title

Dana Carvey  and Jon Lovitz Getty Images

The first title was Bulletproof Hearts and it was intended to star Dana Carvey (to most of us that’s Garth in Wayne’s World, though in the States he was also popular for his Saturday Night Live work) and fellow SNL star Jon Lovitz.

However Carvey was so unimpressed by producer Don Simpson during a celebratory trip to Las Vegas that he pulled out of the movie altogether. The film was eventually reinvented and the rights went from Disney to Columbia.

2. The second and third movies pay tribute to Don Simpson

Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer Getty Images

In both movies, the old Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films logo is used in the opening credits. The producer died in 1996.

3. The fans made Bad Boys a hit

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys Getty Images

It was a classic case of the fans defying the critics with Bad Boys. Early reviews of the 1995 film didn't appear to grasp the magic of buddy-cop dynamic and it was only when the public got to see the movie that its legendary status grew.

It quickly became a cult hit and two more films were made.

4. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence weren’t first choices

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Getty Images

As the premise of the movie developed after Carvey's walkout, the lead roles were intended for Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes. Several other stars including Arsenio Hall and Laurence Fishburne were also linked to the role of Mike Lowrey – until director Michael Bay caught an episode of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

5. Some of the Bad Boys script was improvised

Michael Bay and Will Smith Getty Images

Bay hated much of the script but was only given a small budget for a script rewrite. His solution was to allow Smith and Lawrence to improvise. For example, Smith requesting a pack of Bubblicious after disarming a gun-toting cashier was his own idea.

However Bay didn’t give the pair too much freedom – he fell out with Smith over the final scene, because Smith didn’t want to say “I love you” to Lawrence. Eventually he relented and said the words when the scene was shot.

6. Michael Bay's mum got her way

Before it was released, Michael Bay showed an early cut of the film to his mum. Apparently, she was taken aback by the language in the movie (Everyone's a critic) and she got her own way.

After listening to her comments, Bay reduced the 18 F-bombs in the opening car-jack scene to just 12.

7. Michael Bay appears in Bad Boys For Life

Bay famously directed the first two movies.

However, even though he wasn’t at the helm for the latest outing he still makes a cameo (and directs the scene for it). Watch out for the master of ceremonies who announces Mike Lowrey’s speech.

8. Martin Lawrence’s daughter is in Bad Boys For Life 

Jasmin Page Lawrence and Martin Lawrence FilmMagic

Jasmin Lawrence is one of the women who stop Marcus and Mike entering a nightclub.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys II and Bad Boys For Life are all available to watch now on Sky Cinema with NOW TV.

Main image copyright: © 2020 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and 2.0 Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.