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.
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.”
(WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD)
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?
(END OF SPOILERS)
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]