Last year, it looked like Men In Black might be hopping on the franchise reboot train, with rumors of a fourth film in the franchise on the way. The fourth film was titled MIB 23, and would be a lighthearted crossover between the alien hunters and another rebooted franchise, 21 Jump Street. Although the project was in development for a while, and even picked up a director, by the fall of 2016, it had ground to a halt, with too many challenges facing the production. While this was disappointing news to many fans who were looking forward to seeing the Men in Black return, for others, it was something of a relief.
However, the MIB franchise could still see another film in the future, even if it's unlikely to be a Jump Street crossover. The franchise director even has an idea of how it might happen.
Talking to DigitalSpy earlier this year, Barry Sonnenfeld (who directed all three films in the franchise) said that he would love to see a fourth film, but that the best option for Men In Black 4 would be to tell the stories of characters other than Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones).
"But I think the problem with making a fourth film - for a while they were talking about combining 21 Jump Street and Men in Black - [is] there are too many expensive players in the mix. There's Spielberg, there's other producers, and I think the way to do it is to have new agents or something like that.
Not have me, not have Will, not have Tommy [Lee Jones]. Just have other adventures. I wish they would do it, I don't know if they will."
This isn't the first time that the idea of a new Men In Black movie without Will Smith has been floated. Back in 2015, writer Walter Parkes said that a new trilogy was in "active development" and would most likely not see Smith return. This move makes sense, as Smith himself has previously said he would not be interested in making any more Men In Black movies, and Jonah Hill's comments about the defunct MIB 23 suggest that getting the original cast back together was proving difficult.
Of course, we may never actually see a fourth MIB movie, as these comments only reflect what Sonnenfeld would like to see, not what is actually in production. And as is so often the case, even films that are in development don't always make it to the big screen. However, this could well be a great way to keep the long-running franchise alive, and we will keep you updated as more Men In Black 4 news develops.