Men in Black relaunch moves closer to the big screen with F. Gary Gray in talks to direct

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Feb 1, 2018, 2:53 PM EST

The good guys will be back in black when the Men in Black return to theaters in 2019, this time without Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the suits and shades. SYFY WIRE has confirmed that Sony and Amblin are in talks with F. Gary Gray, director of The Fate of the Furious and Straight Outta Compton, to take the reins of the franchise.

The new Men in Black will be a spinoff of the previous movies rather than a reboot of the franchise, which was inspired by comics created by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers. Smith and Jones are not expected to return to reprise their roles as Agents J and K. The actors last appeared in those roles in 2012's Men in Black 3. Rumors dating back as far as 2015 indicate that the next Men in Black movie will feature a Woman in Black in one of the lead roles.

In 2014 the notorious Sony email hack revealed that the studio was thinking of rebooting Men in Black by crossing it over with its 21 Jump Street franchise, with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as the new agents. James Bobin, director of the 2011 The Muppets movie, was attached to that reboot in 2016, but the project appears to have died on the vine.

The new Men in Black movie already has a script in place by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, whose credits include the first Iron Man movie and Transformers: The Last Knight. Steven Spielberg remains attached as a producer. Sony may be hoping the new Men in Black can emulate the huge box office of its Jumanji relaunch earlier this year, and F. Gary Gray's success with Fate of the Furious in 2017 makes him the perfect director for such a tentpole franchise.

The as-yet-untitled new Men in Black is scheduled to arrive in theaters June 14, 2019.