It may have seemed less likely in the wake of The Slap (TM) at last year's Oscars, but it seems that Will Smith has sufficiently redeemed himself in the eyes of the general public to make 'Bad Boys 4' a reality.

The fourth sequel of the buddy cop movie was announced yesterday, with Smith sharing a video to his social media that saw him arriving at his co-star Martin Lawrence's house to share the news with fans.

The film was reportedly delayed after Smith's infamous kerfuffle with Chris Rock, but is now in pre-production, according to Sony Pictures.

It doesn't have a title as yet, but it will follow 2020's 'Bad Boys for Life', which was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. They are rumoured to be on board for the new film, along with producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

It's the latest tentative step for Smith's public rehabilitation following The Slap; he has only appeared in one other movie since it happened - slave drama 'Emancipation'.

During an interview to promote that film, he cried as he discussed the incident at the Oscars, calling it "a horrific night". Smith has since been banned from the event for ten years.