When director-writer Rick Rosenthal got confused with a documentary filmmaker of the same name, he always told people he was the “Bad Boys” Rick Rosenthal, referring to the 1983 film he directed and wrote that starred Sean Penn. Excuse him if he’s having a bit of an identity crisis, since, after March 31, his won’t be the only “Bad Boys” on the market.

Columbia has released a new film with the same title, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. “Remember Coca-Cola, new Coke, and Coke Classic? I guess my film will be called ‘Bad Boys Classic’ when people go to the video store six months from now,” said Rosenthal. “The funny thing is that this one not only has the same title, but if you look at the poster, it’s exactly the same kind of lettering.”

The first “Bad Boys” starred Penn as a reform school inmate trying to change his violent ways, and launched the careers of Penn, Ally Sheedy and Esai Morales. “I remember when Simpson and Bruckheimer told me they thought it was a ‘muscular’ movie, but I never expected they would end up naming their movie after mine. After being known for ‘Bad Boys,’ I’m going to have to move on and be identified with something else,” said Rosenthal.

He just directed three episodes of the NBC series “Amazing Grace,” which stars Patty Duke, and, said Rosenthal, with some relief, “does not have her playing identical cousins.”

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