Kumail Nanjiani has officially joined the cast of the Men in Black spinoff as a comedic alien sidekick named Pawny. An actor and comedian, Nanjiani previously won a Golden Globe for The Big Sick, a movie he co-wrote loosely based around his life and background. Nanjiani will be joining a cast of other big name stars including Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Liam Neeson.
Hemsworth will be playing Agent H, a sauve and goofy James Bond-type British MIB agent. Thompson will play Molly, a young woman aware of the existence of aliens who wants to join the organization. Neeson will be playing the unnamed head of MIB's U.K. branch. Hemsworth and Thompson previously co-starred in 2017's Marvel Studios hit Thor: Ragnarok.
According to That Hashtag Show, the new film will “take place within the same universe as the previous films but put a contemporary spin on the franchise that captures things on a more global scale.” The main characters from the original films - Agent K and Agent J, played by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, respectively - have so far not been reported to be appearing in the spinoff in any capacity. Nanjiani's Pawny is described as being both wise-cracking and sex-driven, so the character seems clearly intended to be the comic relief between scenes of Hemsworth's Agent H protecting the Earth from the worst scum of the universe.
Men in Black's spinoff will be directed by F. Gary Gray. Gray directed the recent Fate of the Furious movie, as well as praised rap biopic Straight Outta Compton. However, this film will be far from Gray's first comedic venture, as he previously helmed the cult classic 1995 comedy Friday, and the 2005 Get Shorty sequel Be Cool. The script will be written by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, a duo credited with penning both 2008's Iron Man and recent sequel Transformers: The Last Knight. The movie will be produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment.
Not a lot of plot details have been reported so far regarding the spinoff, other than that the agents "become involved in a murder mystery that has them traveling the globe." Like its predecessors, the film will be an action/comedy, which will be nothing new for Hemsworth and Thompson who have experience in both the action and comedy realms thanks to Ragnarok. While Nanjiani has mostly starred on television, his role on The Big Sick has already given him experience on the big screen, although his action chops have yet to be tested. Neeson, meanwhile, is now mostly known for action films like Taken, but he's shown an ability to handle both comedy and drama when called to do so. Together the four will make for an interesting quartet of main characters, especially since only Hemsworth and Thompson have worked with each other before.
Source: That Hashtag Show
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019