If there’s one thing that Joe Carnahan excels at, it’s overshooting our expectations. I promise that isn’t just faint praise: Carnahan has rebooted The A-Team as a summer movie; shot a feature-length film where Liam Neeson punches wolves; released an ensemble action film about the mob trying to kill a magician. Each of these films could have been a disaster in the wrong hands, but Carnahan has consistently delivered fun and thoughtful action movies where audiences least expect it. For my money, that makes him one of the most underrated writer-directors working in the action genre today.

It also explains why I’m surprisingly positive on the upcoming Bad Boys sequel, Bad Boys for Life. If anyone can revitalize a long-dead movie franchise while simultaneously bringing Martin Lawrence’s career back from the brink, it’s Joe Carnahan. So when Carnahan recently sat down to talk with Collider (via Heroic Hollywood) about his plans for the upcoming movie, I for one paid close attention.

First of all, if you’re worried about Will Smith getting a little too involved with the development process, don’t be. Carnahan explained his working relationship with the original Bad Boys star and why he thinks their collaboration will lead to great things:

We know we have to satisfy X, Y, and Z, let me take a shot at this, and see if it comes back and see if you like it, see if it works. In that respect, Will’s been wonderful and a lot of fun, and always a willing participant, always welcoming… It’s a constant search for making it better and better and better. And I applaud that, that’s a hell of a trait to have, because he could be the other way, like whatever, but that’s not his style.

Carnahan also promised that he would not water down the franchise by shooting for a PG-13 rating in Bad Boys for Life. This is primarily owed to the success of everybody’s favorite R-rated movie of 2016:

I think it’s gonna be R. I don’t think we’re trying to make a PG-13 version of Bad Boys. We haven’t discussed the rating, but both the other films were R-rated; Deadpool made $800 million globally and was an R-rated film, the new Wolverine is R-rated.

Finally, Carnahan also admitted that it was surprisingly easy to come up with a villain for the movie, indicating that Lowrey and Burnett would actually be facing off against multiple bad guys this time out:

It wasn’t challenging [coming up with the antagonist]. It should’ve been. You’ve got all these years in the game and you’ve made all these enemies, you’ve accumulated all this, so in that respect it would be easy. But I don’t wanna say anything else because I don’t wanna ruin the delicacy of who our antagonist is, because I think it’s very cool. It’s not one person. It’s a multi-headed hydra, I’ll say that. It works beautifully.

So there you have it. Fans of the original Bad Boys movies should be reassured that the movie features a steady hand at the top; everyone else should feel a slight uptick in their enthusiasm for the project based on Carnahan’s track record and his dedication to keeping it an R-rated movie. And while the world may not exactly need another Bad Boys movie, like the rest of Carnahan’s projects, you bet against the writer-director at your own peril. Count me in.