There hasn’t been a tremendous amount of positive buzz surrounding the production of Sony’s Men in Black III. The project’s announcement seemed to be met largely with skepticism rather than enthusiasm – and the latest delay in shooting isn’t exactly painting an encouraging picture.
Back in November, we learned that the cast and crew would take a two-month long hiatus right in the middle of filming. The studio attempted to ease concerns by claiming that they were simply waiting for warmer weather, but it was no secret that screenwriter Jeff Nathanson had been brought on board to pen a new draft of Men in Black III‘s script.
Shooting was expected to resume this week, but Nathanson’s script still isn’t ready so production has now been pushed back until March. At this point it seems clear that there’s likely a lot more going on with Men in Black III than a basic script revision. It’s not unusual for a tent pole film to undergo rewrites all throughout production, but when the alterations are enough to shut down the production, that hints at some major re-structuring.
Not to mention: the film is evidently still casting as well. Men in Black III is bookended by scenes of Agent Jay (Will Smith) and Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) set in the present day, but the majority of the film takes place in the 1960s, where Jay teams up with the younger version of Kay (played by Josh Brolin). According to Deadline, Agent Kay won’t be the only character with a 1960s counterpart.
Alice Eve (She’s Out of My League) has signed on to play the younger version of Emma Thompson’s character in the film. Thompson portrays Olivia, the new head of the MIB agency. Jay’s time-traveling reveals that his whip-smart boss actually started out as a put-upon secretary hired only for her looks.
29-year-old Eve has also appeared in Sex and the City 2 and will next be seen in The Raven starring John Cusack. She was also rumored to be a contender for one of the leading roles in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot. It’s unclear whether or not her involvement with Men in Black III will take her out of the running for that film.
I like Eve and I think she has the potential to be a big star. Her better-known projects haven’t been particularly great, but smaller films like Big Nothing show a real versatility. Only time will tell if Men in Black III is truly the train wreck it’s been made out to be or if the filmmakers have managed to salvage a decent follow-up. Either way, perhaps the exposure a major studio film provides will help Eve move on to bigger and better things.
Director Barry Levinson has been using the hiatus to piece together the footage that’s already been shot, so Men in Black 3 is still on target to hit its May 25, 2012 release date.