Barry Sonnenfeld & Rick Baker on ‘Men in Black 3′ Problems & ‘MIB4′

Published 3 years ago by

Barry Sonnenfeld Talks Men in Black 3 Problems Barry Sonnenfeld & Rick Baker on Men in Black 3 Problems & MIB4

Though Men in Black 3 was plagued with all sorts of production problems – reshoots, rewrites, Alec Baldwin dropping out, etc. – the trailer was surprisingly entertaining and effective. Of course, amazing trailers have given way to terrible films, once or twice (or, you know, countless times).

Director Barry Sonnenfeld and makeup artist Rick Baker recently talked about some of those production problems - and were surprisingly candid about the ordeal.

In an interview with Empire magazine, with regard to screenplay problems, Sonnenfeld said:

“We knew starting the movie that we didn’t have a finished second or third act. Was it responsible? The answer is, if this movie does as well as I think it will, it was genius. If it’s a total failure, then it was a really stupid idea.”

Just so we’re all clear – he is saying that they only had the first third of the screenplay for Men in Black 3 finished when they started shooting, right? It’s entirely possible, of course, that MIB3 could turn out to be excellent; the best of the series, even! (Stranger things have occurred.) Still, it’s hard to argue, at this juncture, that the filmmakers cared more about the quality of this film at the outset than they did about piles of cash.

Aliens in Men in Black 3 Barry Sonnenfeld & Rick Baker on Men in Black 3 Problems & MIB4

On the topic of not really having a screenplay, makeup artist Rick Baker said:

“It was a crazy production. We had a writer actually on the soundstage writing the words moments before the guys had to say them. I don’t think that’s any way to make a movie. [...] But I’ve seen a rough cut and I was actually shocked at how good it was!”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement either. Let’s say, hypothetically, that Baker expected the film to be the worst film of all time. In that context, being shocked about its eventual quality wouldn’t mean much, would it?

Still, Barry Sonnenfeld is feeling pretty confident about MIB3, or at least expressing sentiments along those lines:

“My mood is in a really happy place. [Francois] Truffaut once said that that a movie is as bad as it will ever be on the day you’re done filming, and what he loved about post-production is that you get to make it better again. I feel the same way: once you’re done with the horrible mess of shooting a movie, it only goes uphill.”

Josh Brolin as Agent K in Men in Black 3 Barry Sonnenfeld & Rick Baker on Men in Black 3 Problems & MIB4


As for a potential Men in Black 4, Rick Baker said:




“At least we’ve got Josh Brolin now to carry on with Tommy’s part…”

Does that mean young Agent K will be coming back to the future with Agent J? And will old Agent K be – gulp – wiped out of existence?





Read the entire interview in the next issue of Empire.

Men in Black 3 hits theaters May 25, 2012.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Empire [via Comic Book Movie]

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  1. I have a feeling this will be the first big flop of this year. I hope I’m wrong. I enjoyed both films, and the trailer did look good.

  2. its will smith. most of his movies have made at least 100 million dollars domestically except for the little stumble with begger vance and ali and more recently seven pound, but even seven pounds made back its budget domestically not counting worldwide grosses. so im confident itll do well in theaters. i just hope its good!

    • ^ is it bad I really enjoyed all 3 of his non high grossing films?

      • i enjoyed seven pounds and begger vance (come on, will smith, matt damon, AND charlize theron? what more could you ask in a movie even if it was a blockbuster action film?) so no i dont think its bad to like them.

    • I enjoyed all Will Smiths movie, even some are not as good as his other movies. For the most part, most of his movies are entertaining. Personal fave is Enemy of the State.

  3. A waste of Jemaine Clement, and still writing during production? No respect for their audience.

  4. What’s that say about the care put into a movie, when only a third of it was written before they started production?! It is also upsetting that Tommy Lee Jones will apparently be relegated to a cameo role in this, and a suggestion was made that Josh Brolin, his character’s younger self, be brought into the future to replace him. Personally, I’d rather see more of Jones and less of Will Smith…

    • I agree. Bring back Tommy Lee Jones!!

  5. Yikes, this doesn’t sound good.
    I forget who said a film is actually made 3 times. The Screenplay, The Shoot, Editing.
    And from what it sounds like this production was a mess for 2 of those.
    I agree with “Ghost” this may be the 1st big flop of the year.

  6. After MIB2 (which I think was lazy) they really have to produce something good. I’m a big fan of the first and hope this one does well but if this gets average reviews I imagine people won’t bother to see it. That’s my plan at least.

  7. How can young agent K get transferred to the present and there still be an agent J since agent K found agent J? Time travel movies can get pretty screwed up.

    • Oops! I guess I should have put ***** SPOILER WARNING ***** in that.

  8. I enjoy these movies for the pure mindless entertainment that they are, however, most of my enjoyment comes from the chemistry between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Taking Tommy Lee Jones out of the equation is the biggest mistake this franchise can make in my opinion. No Tommy Lee, no MIB!

  9. I love how the people making the movie ALWAYS say how good it turned out. I mean, have you ever heard a producer or director comment about an upcoming movie of thiers in a negative sense? Uhhh, no. I hope I am wrong but this could be a flop. I will not be there opening night. I will wait for reviews.