Seven years after the last Men in Black movie, Men in Black 3, Sony Pictures is putting forth another MIB film. More than 20 years after the first Men in Black premiered, Sony is set to re-launch the franchise with a spinoff film titled Men in Black: International.
Let’s Back Up…
It’s been a while since the Men in Black released a film, so here’s a breakdown of what happened last.
The Men in Black work for a highly funded yet unofficial government agency that is top secret. Agent K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (played by Will Smith) are the Men in Black: providers of immigration services and regulators of all aliens on Earth. Together they face and defeat various threats, reuniting for a total of three movies.
In the most recent film, Men in Black 3, K and J face multiple threats– the biggest one being an alien that time travels to the past to kill Agent K. Agent J then travels back in time to work with Agent K’s younger self to save him from his demise. This film is also when Agent O (played by Emma Thompson), the chief of the Men in Black, appears.
Plot details are limited for the next movie, seeing as the movie has not been released yet. However, trailers are out– revealing the basic structure of the film:
Agent M seeks out the Men in Black all on her own, becomes a new recruit, and is partnered with Agent H. The film centers around these two characters, much like the originals which focus on partners Agent J and Agent K. Agent M appears to get agitated frequently by Agent H’s attitude and work ethic, adding an engaging and comedic tension to their character relationship.
It isn’t long before Earth comes under attack by “the Hive”, aliens that take the shape of anyone (including agents), and the pair are the only agents left to combat the invasion.
The film is still set in the same universe as the other films: not only has Agent O returned, but the first trailer revealed a painting in the Men in Black headquarters depicting Agent J and K’s adventures.
Despite being set in the same universe as the last films, this film,cast, and director do take individual liberties. “They’re trying to change up the locations, make it feel unique and different to the last ones,” Chris Hemsworth, actor on the film, told Variety.
You might recognize the lead partner pair from Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. Agent M is played by Tessa Thompson, a.k.a. Valkyrie– the female warrior who flies around on a pegasus. Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, is playing the role of Agent H.
The notorious original cast member Emma Thompson is reprising her role of Agent O. Liam Neeson joins Thompson to play the head of the Men in Black’s London branch, High T.
New aliens to the franchise are also cast: the alien sidekick named Pawny, voiced by Kumail Nanjiani from HBO’s Emmy Award-nominated series Silicon Valley, and the three-armed Riza, played by Rebecca Ferguson (she played Ilsa Faust in two Mission Impossible movies).
Two dancers from the competition show World of Dance, Laurent Nicolas Bourgeois and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois (a.k.a. the Les Twins), are a part of the cast as well.
The spinoff movie shifts focus away from Agent J and Agent K to a new generation, and it looks as if neither original agent will be appearing in the film. It appears that the only returning original agent is Agent O.
Producers do tease that viewers can expect a few fan-favorite evil aliens to return, though, namely the Worm Aliens.
The movie was originally scheduled for release on May 17, 2019, but the release got pushed back to June 14, 2019 in the US.
Men in Black 3 grossed $179 million, with the first and second climbing to $250 million and $190 million respectively. MIB: International is hoping to achieve the same goal as most franchise reboots today: revitalizing an old classic to make money (see 2018’s Tomb Raider, 2017’s Power Rangers, and 2016’s Ghostbusters).
Unfortunately, recent remakes and spinoffs haven’t been known to do well. Will Men in Black: International be the film to break the streak of losses?