By Derek Lawrence
January 10, 2020 at 01:22 PM EST

If it was up to Will Smith, he’d put on his sunglasses and erase the Men in Black sequel from your memory.

Appearing on Thursday’s Tonight Show, where he also rapped his own history, Smith discussed why it’s taken 17 years to make the upcoming third Bad Boys installment, Bad Boys for Life.

“What we tried to do, that was really critical and important to me, is not try to just do the old movies again,” said Smith, referencing 1995’s Bad Boys and 2003’s Bad Boys II. “You had to take into consideration the time, had to take into consideration how the characters would have grown. And the reason it took so long is because I didn’t want to make it just as a cash grab. You know, ‘Hey, everybody loves sequels, let’s just do a sequel.’”

The Oscar-nominated actor then threw a few of his films under the bus, adding, “I had fumbled a couple of my last sequels. You know, I wasn’t happy with the Men in Black sequel.”

Smith didn’t directly say if he was referring to 2002’s Men in Black II or 2012’s Men in Black 3 (but, let’s be real, he’s definitely talking about the former).

He continued his Bad Boys 3 sales pitch by promising that fans will love it — and yes, he knows that he says that a lot.

“I’m going to keep it real: sometimes I say ‘y’all are gonna love it,’ and y’all not gonna love it,” he said with a laugh. “You know, ’cause sometimes I’ve seen it, and I know y’all not gonna love it, but it’s an expensive movie. But this time…it is so good.”

Recently speaking to EW, the other Bad Boy, Martin Lawrence, gave credit to Smith for pushing to get the film right. “He wouldn’t do it until the script was right,” says Lawrence. “And he pushed and pushed and pushed for years for them to get the script right. So we finally got the script right, and we did it.”

Bad Boys for Life opens Jan. 17.

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