The upcoming Men in Black spinoff will feature at least one returning character from the franchise, as Emma Thompson has signed on to appear in the as-yet-untitled movie. Despite focusing on brand new characters and locations for this latest adventure with the the titular sharp-suited protectors of Earth, Thompson will reportedly be reprising her role from Men in Black 3, which at least provides a solid link to the previous adventures of Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith).
The journey for this fourth entry in the Men in Black franchise has been an eventful one to say the least. It's been generally accepted for some time that Jones and Smith would not be playing the leads in any more sequels, and at one point a film called MIB23 was planned which would see the Jump Street characters tangle with the MIB bureau. However that idea was dropped and production began on a spinoff movie which would reboot the MIB franchise and introduce new leads. Chris Hemsworth was appointed as the male lead and Tessa Thompson was eventually announced as his partner, with The Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray helming the extraterrestrial action. Up until now though, no actors from the previous films were expected to appear in the spinoff.
However, THR reports that Thompson has agreed to appear in the movie, and will indeed be portraying Agent O, the chief of the whole MIB organization. First appearing in Men in Black 3, she succeeded Agent Z (Rip Torn) and became the boss of Agents K and J. It was a pivotal role in the plot for several reasons. and Thompson was a good foil to Smith and Jones. While other cameos and surprises can presumably not be ruled out until the film is completed, it at least provides a hint that the previous events and timelines of the movies won't be forgotten. Thompson joins an increasingly impressive cast, which recently saw Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, and Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) also join the crew.
Within the time-traveling escapades of Men in Black 3, Agent O's past and current status was explored to some extent. Played in the 1969 scenes by Alice Eve, she was originally a secretary to an earlier chief, and also had a brief romantic relationship with Agent K. Rising through the ranks to become a veteran agent, she assumed the role of MIB Chief when Agent Z passed away offscreen. The storyline of the new spinoff is being kept a closely guarded secret, but it's thought to be a more global representation of how the MIB guards against alien invasions, and will ramp up the action and comedy to new levels.
While some were dubious that the original interplay between Jones and Smith could be replicated - along with the crazy sci-fi concepts and event-packed plots - expectations are now on the rise for this spinoff. The signing of Thompson shows that earlier entries in the franchise won't be completely ignored, and it also adds another great character actor to the mix. The Thor: Ragnarok reunion of Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson should provide excellent chemistry, along with the rest of a great-looking cast. The Men in Black spinoff could be a movie worth keeping a close eye on when it reaches theaters next year.
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019