A behind the scenes clip from Men in Black: International highlights Kumail Nanjiani's facial-capture performance and ad-libbing as Pawny. Loosely inspired by The Men in Black comic books, the Men in Black movie franchise has been around for more than twenty years by now. The first film hit theaters back in 1997 and paired Will Smith with Tommy Lee Jones as members of an organization tasked with supervising extraterrestrial lifeforms on earth. Barry Sonnenfeld directed the project, which served to cement Smith's A-list status and grossed well over half a billion dollars at the global box office.
Smith, Jones, and Sonnenfeld later returned for another two films (released in 2002 and 2012) before calling it a day on the franchise. Sony toyed with a few ideas for continuing the series from there, the most famous of which was a crossover with the Jump Street movies. In the end, the studio decided to go ahead with International, a soft reboot focusing on two different MIB agents (played by Thor: Ragnarok costars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson) and new characters played by the likes of Nanjiani.
With Men in Black: International premiering on digital tomorrow, August 20 (followed by its release in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD in two weeks on September 3), Screen Rant is premiering an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse at Nanjiani and his performance as the tiny extraterrestrial Pawny in the film. You can check it out in the space below.
Nanjiani is best known for his role as Dinesh Chugtai on HBO's cult comedy series Silicon Valley, in addition to his performance as a partly-fictionalized version of himself in The Big Sick (which he received an Oscar nomination for cowriting). His Men in Black: International character, Pawny, is the last survivor of a small group of aliens on earth and helps Agents H and M (Hemsworth and Thompson) on their mission, upon pledging his loyalty to M. The pint-sized creature didn't require Nanjiani to deliver a full body mo-cap performance to bring him to life, but the actor still did facial capture for the role. He was also physically present on set with Hemsworth and Thompson during their scenes together, as seen in this clip.
International was a modest commercial success for Sony (it grossed $253 million worldwide against a $110 million budget), but it's not clear yet if the studio plans to make another movie featuring H, M, and Pawny or not. In the meantime, Hemsworth and Thompson are gearing up to reprise their roles as Thor and Valkyrie when Thor: Love & Thunder begins production next year. Nanjiani will also join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Chloé Zhao's Eternals, which will start filming this fall ahead of its November 2020 release date. So who knows, the three may yet wind up crossing paths again in the MCU one day (if not in another MIB adventure).
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Men in Black: International debuts on digital tomorrow, August 20, and become available in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on September 3.