Sony Pictures intention to kick-start it’s “Men in Black” franchise has been known since April, but it appears many of the pieces of the puzzle are finally falling into place to make “Men in Black III” actually happen.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld is attached to return for the third installment and one of Hollywood’s most sought after writers, “Tropic Thunder’s” Etan Cohen, is hard at work on the screenplay. The biggest question marks have surrounded series stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The good news is that according to The Hollywood Reporter, the buzz in development circles is that Smith is finally interested in returning. That would be music to Sony’s ears as the blockbuster prospects to reboot the series with a new cast are hardly guaranteed.
Smith hasn’t shot a film since “Seven Pounds” which was released almost a year ago. That film broke the actor’s long and improbable streak of $100 million domestic grossers that went all the way back to 2002’s “Men in Black II.” While a sequel to “Hancock” and a prequel to “I Am Legend” are in the works, the actor has been seemingly skittish on what to commit to as his next film. “Men in Black III” is certainly a potentially safe choice.
On the other hand, the involvement of Tommy Lee Jones is much less certain. The Oscar-winner has committed to star opposite Matthew McConaughey in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” but that period drama doesn’t have a confirmed start date so whether or not there is a conflict is still uncertain.