In the latest Screen Rant Pitch Meeting, Ryan George takes us back in time to the original pitch for Men in Black. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and released in 1997, Men in Black is a movie about a hard-working NYPD cop (played by Will Smith) who gets recruited by a top secret agency after an encounter with an alien and becomes Agent J, a man of mystery charged with monitoring alien activity on earth. And sometimes that means delivering an alien octopus baby in the back of a car.
Men in Black was a massive hit upon its release, helped in part by a catchy tie-in song performed by Smith himself, and has so far spawned two direct sequels, with another one on the way. Men in Black: International trades in the traditional pairing of Agent J and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) for a new dynamic duo. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson - who were last seen teaming up in Thor: Ragnarok - will play Agent H and Agent M, respectively, in a murder mystery that will take them to different MiB agencies around the world.
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Before all that, however, let's take a trip back to the 1990s to hear the original pitch for Men In Black, a movie in which the star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Independence Day gets repeatedly covered in slimy goo. Also there's an Exposition Pug.
A lesser-known fact about the Men in Black movies is that they're technically Marvel movies. The franchise started its life as a short run of comics at the dawn of the 1990s, and the property was later acquired by Marvel Comics, who released a number of movie tie-in comics. It's unfortunate that the Men in Black aren't part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since they probably could have made short work of Thanos and his invading alien goons.
Before Sony Pictures settled on Men in Black: International as the next entry in the franchise, there was actually talk of making a Men in Black movie that would cross over with the Jump Street movies - a concept that sounds just crazy enough to work. Sadly it never came to be, though if International is a success we wouldn't rule out the possibility of the crossover idea being revived. Channing Tatum, Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth and Jonah Hill sounds like quite the alien-fighting dream team.
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019