Fans eager to see the return of Agents Jay and Kay in Men In Black 3 have been forced to suffer through a number of let-downs and delays as far back as April of 2009 – when Sony first mentioned developing the sequel.
Men in Black 3 production was halted back in December, to allow Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) time to work on some key rewrites. Now, it seems as if Sony is bringing in one more writer to work out the kinks in the troubled screenplay – heavy-hitter David Koepp.
According to Deadline, Sony has brought Koepp in for several weeks worth of rewrites, with the hopes of getting the floundering film back on track, in order to resume production on March 28th.
Many ‘Fans in Black’ will remember that Koepp was in charge of an uncredited rewrite of the original Men in Black screenplay – and passed on the opportunity to work on the film’s follow-up Men in Black II.
That said, Koepp has a lengthy list of successful writing credits including Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, and Mission: Impossible – though, the writer also had a hand in angering fanboys with questionable offerings like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Men in Black III is being directed by Barry Sonnefeld and reunites Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in the headline roles. The main story revolves around Smith’s Jay accidentally traveling back to the year 1969 – where he runs into a younger version of his future partner Kay, played by Josh Brolin. Jay must get the middle-aged Kay to trust him (and his outrageous time travel story) – in order to prevent alien/villain Boris the Biker, played by Jemaine Clement, from killing the original “Man In Black” before he can become the hero we see in the prior films.
The screenplay was originally penned by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder) but has undergone a grueling series of rewrites that halted production – even though some scenes are already in the can. The modern-day portions of the film featuring the elder Kay, have already been shot, so it would seem that Sony is still unhappy with Jeff Nathanson’s draft of the 60s-era story elements. Shooting was originally scheduled to resume a couple weeks back, and with production now firing back up at the end of this month, it’s likely that Koepp has been brought in to quickly hammer out the the time-travel storyline – so the film can finally get some forward momentum.
That said, with the recent addition of Alice Eve to the film, playing the 1960s version of Emma Thompson’s modern day MIB agency lead, it sounds as if the recent rewrites aren’t merely cosmetic – rather, large scale shifts big enough to warrant casting high-profile parts.
Hopefully with Koepp typing away on the script, and despite all of the set-backs, Men In Black 3 can still deliver a story on par with a smart but fun action film like Spider-Man (which, as previously mentioned, Koepp had a hand in) – rather than a muddled slog like Toy Soldiers (which Koepp also worked on).
Men in Black 3 is scheduled to invade theaters on May 25, 2012.