They’re remaking Men in Black. Is nothing sacred? What’s going on? Well, details are scant at the moment, as it’s very early days, but here’s what we know so far…
Who’s writing and directing it?
It’s set to be directed by F. Gary Gray, who is a very safe pair of hands. He made, among other films, Friday, Straight Outta Compton and The Fate of the Furious, so he knows his way around both comedy and action. He also directed the music videos for It Was a Good Day by Ice Cube, TLC’s Waterfalls and Outkast’s Ms. Jackson, so there’ll be a statue built of him one day.
The screenplay is by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, who wrote Iron Man (excellent), Punisher: War Zone (excellent) and Transformers: The Last Knight (hmm). There have been a few different scripts over the last couple of years, but this one has been officially greenlit.
Will it definitely be Men…?
Aha! Possibly not. Variety mentions that one of the leads is “likely to be” a woman. Given that the end of the first film teased a completely different sequel to the one that arrived (with Linda Fiorentino’s Agent L donning the shades), the previous films have absolutely shown that it could work. If the organisation’s name stays the same, the title makes sense whoever holds the big silly gun.
When’s it coming out?
14 June, 2019. That’s 17 months away at the time of writing this, which feels like a reasonably long time, but in terms of making a film, is quite tight.
What kind of reboot is it?
So… what hasn’t been announced is whether this new film is set in the same world as the previous trilogy or a totally new film based on the same source material. The original film was based on the comic book series The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers, which tonally was very different. While the film was a laugh-a-minute effects-fest based around Will Smith’s immense charisma and brilliant chemistry with Tommy Lee Jones, the comics are far more serious and bleak in tone.
We’re not Hollywood executives, but god damn it, make it a comedy again. Nobody needs a gritty version of Men in Black. Fun monsters, silly guns, funny one-liners and generally bonkers shit over a brutal, uncompromising look at life in a secretive government agency any day. Imagine if they did a slowed-down instrumental version of Will Smith’s song, over agents looking really desperate and anxiety-ridden and stuff. That would be absolutely rubbish.
Wasn’t there a completely crazy idea for this?
Crazy awesome, you mean. A while ago there was talk of a crossover sequel with the Men in Black and 21 Jump Street franchises, where the third 21 Jump Street movie would have been called something like 23 MIB and seen Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s characters drafted into the Men in Black. This should have happened and would have been completely amazing. It’s not happening, however.
Will Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith be in it?
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are not going to be in it.
Will The Rock be in it? He’s in everything.
There are currently no plans for The Rock to be in it, but:
- It would make a trillion dollars at the box office
- He looks great in sunglasses
- F. Gary Gray knows him from working on the eighth Fast & Furious
So you can never say never…