Saturday, October 14, 2017

But I Digress... Too Much Spin? A New MIB Movie

 By Cat

Deadline ran an article on September 29, 2017 that launched a flurry of entertainment news articles related to Sony Pictures’ latest announcement regarding the Men In Black (1993) franchise. This time, it had nothing to do with the crazy mash-up in the works between the MIB world and 21 Jump Street (2012). That project is allegedly still in the works, but may be currently tabled.

This news was a bit more mind-blowing. 

Sony plans to create a spinoff movie to further the alien-fighting franchise in a more global story, and supposedly without the iconic Will Smith (Seven Pounds, Winter's Tale, Concussion) and Tommy Lee Jones (The Company Men, Lincoln, Jason Bourne). 

Say what?!

Image from
This is too much spinning. I’m getting dizzy. But seriously, I’m not sure how I feel about this.
I read one article making a comparison to Jurassic Park (1993) by citing that this new movie would be to this franchise what Jurassic World (2015) was to that series. I don’t know about that. I see some original series names associated with the next Jurassic movie in production.
There’s a distinct difference between the two scenarios. For Jurassic Park and its sequels, the dinosaurs were the real focal point of those films. The people that were pitted against them for survival have always been secondary…at least to me. I don’t watch those for the people, at least. It’s all about that first T-Rex break-out, riding motorcycles with velociraptors, and the like. 

A large chunk of the MIB franchise core is the dynamic between Smith & Jones. The aliens, MIB agency along with other agents, and whatever other hapless humans the plot involves are all support in the same way Grant, Malcolm, InGen, and the remote islands built the framework around the anachronistic anomalies that were the man-made dinosaurs running amok.

Can this spinoff successfully expand the franchise without that core dynamic being present? 
Technically, there's certainly enough potential for additional material to draw from. Aside from J and K, there had to be a whole alphabet's worth of other agents at the very least; and the sky's literally the boundless limit imagination can stretch in regards to alien adversaries.

This seems like it’s really going to happen, though. Sony has announced the release date for the movie as May 17, 2019. There’s enough time between now and then that much could change, however, it’s currently on track with writers Matt Holloway (Iron Man, Punisher: War Zone, Transformers: The Last Knight) and Art Marcum (Shadow of Fear, Punisher: War Zone, Ultimate Spider-Man). 

The spinoff will have some tough competition by sharing the release date with John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019). Disney’s live-action version of Aladdin (2019) is slated to open the next week. With Smith playing the part of the Genie, it’s possible it could have been a factor in why he’s not appearing in the new MIB movie, though that’s just my speculation. 

I plan on keeping my eyes peeled for more information as this plot thickens. Hopefully the studio will give us some more tidbits about the production as time draws closer to release. I’m quite curious who they’ll cast – and how well they wear sunglasses. I can pretend, though, that Agent K got neuralized and was convinced that he could grant wishes. Yeah, that's the ticket.

But I Digress... is a weekly column for that can't be pinned down to just one thing. It's our celebration of tangents, random references, and general fan geekdom that both intertwines with, revolves around, and diverges from our movie-review core. In homage to the beloved Brit comedians, we want to bring you something completely different!

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