The MEN IN BLACK are back, and they’re on the fast track. It appears that Sony Pictures has finally settled on a way forward for the sci-fi franchise, as Deadline reports that the studio has set a MEN IN BLACK spinoff release date for May 17, 2019, where it’ll square off directly against JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3. The new film has a script by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, the duo who originated the first IRON MAN script and wrote TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT. However, this is not the MEN IN BLACK/21 JUMP STREET crossover (titled MIB 23) that had been in the works previously, with James Bobin (ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS) attached to direct and Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum starring.
Indeed, Hill previously predicted that MIB 23 would never actually happen, and Deadline notes that this new spinoff will instead build on the world from the first three MEN IN BLACK films and expand the universe to a global scale with new characters and new villains. The idea is something along the lines of how JURASSIC WORLD rebooted and sequelized the JURASSIC PARK franchise at the same time, and just as with that film, original stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are not expected to return.
Veteran producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who produced the first three MIB films as well as movies like CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and FLIGHT, are attached to produce, and Steven Spielberg will be returning as executive producer. With a script and release date set, Sony is now turning its attention to directors and expects to settle on someone shortly. Of Holloway and Marcum’s script, Parkes said the following:
“It’s so rare to get to the end of the script and know you’re holding a movie in your hands – but Art and Matt have written a spinoff that somehow is true to the core of the MIB world, and yet expands the franchise to a fresh new place.”
A previous draft was written by Oren Uziel, which would have taken the franchise in a darker and more hardened direction, but it appears the studio went a different direction. Regardless, this thing is definitely happening, so start that fancasting now!