While the odd but intriguing Men In Black–21 Jump Street crossover is still reportedly in development, it seems a separate Men In Black spin-off is likely to hit cinema screens first. Deadline reports that Sony Pictures have fast tracked the spin-off for a May 17, 2019 release date and have hired new writers.
Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (Transformers: The Last Knight) have written a script, which will reportedly be a “contemporary sci-fi pic about the secret black clad force that protects earth from the alien scum of the universe, focusing on new characters chasing villains that put the picture on more of a global scale than the two previous films”.
With Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones ageing and also likely not as interested in reprising the characters they’ve inhabited three times in the past, it makes sense for Hollywood, who of course are going to scratch and claw to keep a popular money-making franchise afloat at all costs, to attempt to somewhat reboot the series with new characters. It worked for Jurassic World.
Producer Walter F. Parkes confirmed the spin-off and added: “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”. The search now begins for a director and new stars.
Smith and Jones aren’t expected to appear in the film at all, though the spin-off will reportedly acknowledge and build on the world they inhabited, and Sony will be hoping they can kick start a new incarnation of the franchise and not have audiences get sick of constant reboots and rebranding in lieu of original films. We’ll see.