MEN IN BLACK is Being Rebooted Because Art is Dead

Man, it’s been a long time since Men in Black, hasn’t it?

The trilogy about Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as government agents fighting aliens was spread out over the course of fifteen years, culminating in the awesome time travel-comedy Men in Black III. The second one isn’t that great, but the first and third movies are excellent. They’re fun, engaging sci-fi romps that you can watch again and again, and the first flick is a key part of Smith’s eventual super stardom. MIB3 was three years ago, and there’s been little movement on a fourth film since. Sure, everybody’s expressed interest in it at some point (a writer was hired two years ago), but it doesn’t seem to be too high up on the priority list for Smith, Lee Jones or director Barry Sonnenfeld.

Sony is another matter. In the Great Sony Scandal of ’14, emails leaked revealing somebody’s bright idea of crossing that franchise over with the Jump Street movies, which is actually so stupid that it might work. However, it looks as if those plans are dead, as now the series is being rebooted!

As a trilogy!

Kill me.


Chatting with The Hollywood Reporter, franchise producers Walter Parkes and Laurie Macdonald broke the depressing news.

You produced Men in Black. Has there been talk of reviving that franchise with the new Sony regime?

PARKES We’re in the middle of it. It’s very active.

Is Will Smith going to be part of it?

PARKES Most likely no.

MACDONALD It will be reinvented as a trilogy.

Yet another reboot that nobody asked for.

It’s not exactly surprising to read this – Hollywood is just a big corporation, after all – however the success of the franchise is tied with the chemistry and appeal of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. You could possibly replicate that with some different stars sometime down the line, however it could be such a big gamble that there wouldn’t be much point, and moviegoers would ultimately just say, “why are they making a new Men in Black movie without Will Smith?”

The worst part about this, though, is the “trilogy” quote. If you’re specifically planning three movies at once then it means there’s gonna be some kind of overarching story which goes against everything Men in Black should be and sounds like such a terrible idea. Honestly, they would be safer just inventing a new sci-fi comedy franchise and running with that – at least they would get points for originality, and it might be good. This could be as well, but it has the baggage of the previous stars and movies weighing it down, which would be used as a constant point of comparison.

Welcome to Tinsel Town, kids.