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Who Is The Moroccan Duo Behind the Latest ‘Bad Boys’ Movie?

Everything you need to know

In theaters since the beginning of the month, the latest installment of the Bad Boys franchise has to be one of the most-anticipated releases of the summer. As Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their respective roles as two rule-breaking detectives in the Miami Police Department, the fourth chapter of the legendary series has excited fans worldwide by reigniting the iconic chemistry and adrenaline-pumping action that made the original movie so highly appreciated in the first place.

Following the events of the saga’s third entry, released in 2020, Bad Boys: Ride or Die picks up the plot right where it left off, but this time the dynamic duo finds themselves on the run. Achieving outstanding box-office success— with a reported $56 million generated domestically since its US release— both fans and critics are lauding the blockbuster for how it stayed true to its roots all while incorporating elements that keep it relevant for long-time followers and first-time viewers alike.

Almost three-decades after its initial release, the revival of the franchise, which we can credit Moroccan duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah for, is on its way to becoming another classic of the famed series. Carrying particular weight as it is considered to be Will Smith’s first major project since slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, many appear curious to see whether the film’s success will overshadow the incident and help the multi-award-winning actor reconcile with his public image.

All debates aside, here at Mille, we’re extremely happy to see people that hail from our neck of the woods involved in such a global production. To honor this latest piece of work, below, we gathered four facts to absolutely know about the two North African filmmakers.

1. They were born in Belgium

Of Moroccan descent, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were born on Belgian soil— respectively in Edegem and Vilvoorde, two cities where Dutch is predominantly spoken over French.

2. They met at film school

El Arbi and Fallah initially met while studying at Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunsten, a Flemish art school in Brussels. Their collaboration started with the production of short film titled Broeders in 2011, which earned them a slew of accolades including the Best Flemish Student Short Film at the International Film Festival of Flanders-Ghent and the Audience Award at the International Short Film Festival of Leuven.

3. This isn’t their first blockbuster

Already behind two major blockbusters to have come out in the past few years— namely Bad Boys’ third and fourth installments— El Arbi and Fallah can also be credited for having directed a rich slate of other multi-million dollar productions, including Rebel which featured recent Al Rawabi cast member Tara Aboud and Ms Marvel starring Ramyco-star Laith Nakli.

In 2022, the duo was set to helm the live-action adaptation of Batgirl before the project was canceled and never saw the light of day with several reports indicating that DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran described the film as “not releasable,” citing concerns about its ability to compete in the theatrical marketplace. As of today, Batgirl stands as one of the highest-budget films in history to never be released.

4. They also dabble in music

Aside from their work in the silver screen industry, El Arbi and Fallah have also been seen dabbling in music. In 2016, they co-directed the music video for Melody by Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike featuring Steve Aoki and Ummet Ozcan. They are also credited for the directing of Wiz Khalifa’s When I Grow Up. 

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