Reports suggest that Men In Black: International director F. Gary Gray almost quit working on the movie after creative differences with producer Walter Parkes. The fourth film in the Men In Black franchise, MIB: International represents somewhat of a reboot for the series, with Thor: Ragnarok's Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson leading an impressive cast that includes Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson, Rafe Spall and Emma Thompson. While a fourth Men In Black film has been on the cards for some time, a crossover with 21 Jump Street was in the pipeline, but ultimately fell through, paving the way for this new latest installment. As the title implies, MIB: International relocates the franchise to London, with plenty of globetrotting on offer.
After hitting U.S. theaters last week, Men In Black: International's reputation has taken a beating thanks to a widely negative response from fans and critics and a disappointing opening at the box office. Taking $28 million during its opening weekend, MIB: International performed below expectations and that trend looks set to continue for the remainder of its theatrical run. Reviews have been highly critical, the majority of them giving in to temptation and making similar neuralyzer jokes. The fourth MIB film currently holds the worst Rotten Tomatoes score in the franchise and recent reports of backstage problems have compounded the film's misery.
These reports, originally revealed by THR, include claims that director F. Gary Gray came close to quitting Men In Black: International on several occasions, only to be convinced to stay by Sony Pictures, the studio behind the franchise. The source of Gray's frustration is said to be frequent creative clashes with producer, Walter F. Parkes.
In this Battle of the 'F.' initials, a power vacuum was created by the exit of original overseer, Sony executive David Beaubaire, leaving Gray and Parkes to struggle for creative control. Evidently, the duo didn't see eye-to-eye, resulting in script rewrites, actor dissatisfaction and, ultimately, both men delivering alternate cuts of the movie. Parkes' version of the film was chosen and released in theaters, and given the critical response thus far, Sony might've wished they plumped for Gray's cut instead. Time will tell as to whether this becomes another Snyder Cut situation.
While it is possible for a film to suffer a troubled production and still be successful, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and World War Z are two notable examples of this, this kind of behind-the-scenes turmoil usually only derails a movie's chances and that certainly seems to be the case with Men In Black: International.
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019