The Big Sick writer and star Kumail Nanjiani has reportedly been offered a sidekick role in the upcoming Men in Black spinoff starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. It began life as cult comic book published by Aircel Comics in the early 1990s, then went on to become a smash hit movie franchise starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Now, Men in Black will return to screens in a spinoff film with all-new lead characters.
Sony's rebooted Men in Black will still take place in the original films' same sci-fi universe, where humans live alongside aliens, and secret agents called the Men in Black take care of law and order. But Smith and Jones will step aside as a new pair of heroes takes over. Hemsworth steps into one of the lead slots, playing the suave-but-goofy Agent H. He'll be joined by Tessa Thompson as Molly, a young woman who believes in aliens and wants to join the MiB. Liam Neeson was recently added to the cast as the leader of the British MiB.
As Men in Black continues filling out its cast, That Hashtag Show reveals the movie has offered a role to The Big Sick and Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani. And it's a juicy sidekick role. Nanjiani would reportedly play Pawny, who's described as a wise-cracking, sex-driven alien from a civilization that exists on a Chess board.
Joining the world of Men in Black sounds like it would be right up Nanjiani's alley, given his stated love of many things geek, including Dungeons & Dragons (which he used to play with regularity on Dan Harmon's Harmontown) and The X-Files. The sometime podcaster and stand-up comedian is of course known for playing a nerdy programmer on HBO's sitcom Silicon Valley. But his true Hollywood break-out happened in 2017 when he co-wrote and starred in The Big Sick, the unconventional romantic comedy based on his relationship with his wife and co-screenwriter Emily V. Gordon.
Coming off his star turn in The Big Sick, Nanjiani has already lined up several new projects. In 2019, he'll voice the character of Plimpton in Robert Downey Jr.'s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. Also in 2019, he'll star alongside Dave Bautista in the action-comedy Stuber. And he's additionally lined up a dramatic role in director Pablo Larrain's The True American, alongside Amy Adams and Mark Ruffalo.
Clearly, Nanjiani wants to branch out and do more than just play a funny, nerdy guy in comedies. Playing a sex-crazed alien in a sci-fi comedy like Men in Black would definitely give him a chance to stretch his comedic range and break out of the geek persona. In fact, it would give him a chance to break out of the whole human thing altogether. Sony's Men in Black spinoff will be directed by F. Gary Gray from a script by Iron Man writers Matt Holloway and Art Marcum.
Source: That Hashtag Show
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019