men in black

Original Men in Black director won't be involved with reboot for a very simple reason

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Apr 5, 2018

A reboot/spinoff of the Men in Black franchise is well underway at Sony, with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson planning to don some spiffy suits and black Ray-Bans. This casting is a masterstroke, as the two actors proved they have great chemistry in Thor: Ragnarok. However, not everyone is getting along when it comes to monitoring alien activity on Earth. In particular, the man who helped kickstart this film series, Barry Sonnenfeld, won't be taking part in the revitalized property for a very specific reason. 

"The producers and I don't really get along," the 65-year-old director told Business Insider. "It didn't seem like it was something any of us wanted to do."

If that doesn't sum up Hollywood in a nutshell, we don't know what does. Sometimes, producers and studio heads just don't get along in an industry that is highly subjective and ego-based. Nevertheless, it's sad to hear that they won't be seeking any input from the filmmaker behind the first three movies in the series, but at least Steven Spielberg is returning as an executive producer. 

Sonnenfeld (The Addams FamilyWild Wild West) probably isn't too bent out of shape about it, especially since he tied the story of Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) up nicely in Men in Black 3, offering up a really heartbreaking explanation of why J was recruited in the first place. Besides, he revealed during the interview that everyone involved was pretty much tired of making these movies after the third installment. 

"After Men in Black 3, it was pretty clear that Will and Tommy and I had sort of decided we didn't want to do any more of those," he said. "It was a lot of fun. And I loved working with Will and Tommy. But they worked too hard and too long. We all just wanted to move on."

Besides, Sonnenfeld is now in charge of the very successful adaptation of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix. Even so, he was supposed to be involved with the franchise long before this point, by directing the 2004 film adaptation at Paramount, which brought on those same producers he doesn't get along with; they were involved as part of a distribution deal that paid for the movie. In the end, Sonnenfeld just got an executive producer credit while Brad Silberling (Casper, Land of the Lost) landed the directing job. 

The Men in Black reboot/spinoff is scheduled for release next summer on June 14, 2019. Straight Outta Compton's F. Gary Gray is attached to direct, but Sony can never truly neuralize Mr. Sonnenfeld from our minds. That being said, Barry's cool with the man picked to replace him. 

"I love that F. Gary Gray is like the guy who comes in and directs sequels of shows I've done," Sonnenfeld said with appreciation. "That's really kind of cool."