Why is Agent K such a grouch? Men in Black 3 will reveal all

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Dec 17, 2012, 3:16 PM EST

Will the real Agent K please stand up? This summer, audiences will get a double dose of Will Smith's stern partner in the sequel Men in Black 3. It's been a decade since the last film, and its follow-up will answer a burning question. Why is Agent K such a grouch? Seriously, what happened to that guy?

Director Barry Sonnenfeld recently spoke to MTV about the latest installment in the Men in Black franchise. He reveals that in the beginning of the film, Agent K and Agent J's partnership is on the rocks.

"In the first act, Agent J is a bit fed up with how closed K is as a person, how he feels he needs to open up and communicate more, but it's not happening," explains Sonnenfeld. "K says to J, 'You know how I live such a happy life? I don't ask questions I don't want to know the answers to.'"

Hmm, if that's not foreboding we don't know what is. Aside from the time jump, the biggest obstacle Agent J and K have to face is a character called Boris the Animal (played by Jemaine Clement). He's a criminal who breaks out of prison and travels to 1969 to stop the man who shot off his arm. Guess who that man is? It's Agent K.

Shortly after Boris' escape, Agent K goes missing, and his existence has been wiped from everyone's memory (Peter Bishop from Fringe style). The only one who notices his absence is Agent J, who heads to 1969 to stop Boris. But as in all time-travel movies there's a catch: J has to avoid contact with his old partner. That's where it gets messy.

According to Sonnenfeld, "What happens, actually, is he [Agent J] gets arrested by Agent K — now Josh Brolin — in 1969. The second and third act is all about tracking down Boris and Will renewing his friendship with a different K than the K he knows from 40 years in the future. What's really cool is that J is constantly wondering why this guy who seems sort of open and happy became the sort of curmudgeon that has been his partner for the last 14 years. He makes a discovery about that. So, Men in Black 3 is by far the most emotional of the movies. It has a really surprising ending.

So this sequel is really about exploring Agent K's hidden past. As viewers, we've had the opportunity to see J's journey from newbie to veteran agent, so it will be interesting to see his partner's struggles.

Men in Black 3 opens in theaters May 25.

(via MTV)