Sony Pictures allegedly thought “Bad Boys” was a bad idea.
Director Michael Bay is claiming the studio was wary of financing his 1995 action flick, which starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, because they believed the movie wouldn’t make bank overseas.
“Sony didn’t believe in the movie, because [they said] two black actors don’t sell overseas. They had no faith in it,” the tea-spilling director alleged in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I was watching James Cameron’s ‘True Lies’ and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this guy has so much money [budget-wise]. I have only $9 million.’
“And they shut me down, literally. They shut the power off. That’s how rude they were on this movie,” he added.
But, according to Bay, the under-funded production’s saving grace was the knowhow he’d gained from working under even more tenuous conditions: “Luckily I had 500 days of film set experience doing videos, commercials, working with some of the most famous athletes in the world, and that’s where you really truly know how to deal with a – – holes.”
“Bad Boys” became a box-office blockbuster, grossing more than $141 million worldwide.
The movie spawned a sequel, also directed by Bay, which was released in 2003. That film went on to make a whopping $273 million across the globe.
A third film in the franchise, “Bad Boys For Life,” was released in 2020 — but Bay was not involved.
Meanwhile, plans for a fourth flick have reportedly been put on hold amid the fallout from Smith’s assault of comedian Chris Rock at last month’s Oscars.
“Bad Boys” was the first feature film directed by Bay. He went on to direct mega-hits including “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Transformers.”
The Post has contacted Sony Pictures for comment on Bay’s claims.
Bay isn’t the only director to have allegedly been told by a film studio that they were wary about having Smith — a black man — in a lead role.
Last year, “Independence Day” director Roland Emmerich told the Hollywood Reporter that 20th Century Fox was worried about casting Smith in that 1996 movie.
“The studio said, ‘No, we don’t like Will Smith. He’s unproven. He doesn’t work in international [markets],’” Emmerich claimed.
The movie’s producer additionally alleged: “They said, ‘You cast a black guy in this part, you’re going to kill foreign [box office].’”