MEN IN BLACK III: The Many, Many Problems…

-by Mike Finkelstein

I’ll admit, since hearing about MEN IN BLACK III last year, I was a little skeptical.  The first one is great, the second one…not so much.  Was this one necessary?  We got a very simple glimpse at a teaser trailer (below) that seemed to be more for the 3D than the film. Then, the next piece of information: Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson, Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), and Alec Baldwin would all have their part in the new adventure.  The two seemed to cancel each other out.  And then, there was silence for a while.

Not anymore.  Within the past week we had three not very good pieces of information.  First, at a press junket for his film, SUNSET LIMITED, Tommy Lee Jones admitted that he has no idea about the plot, and a lot of the script is unwritten:

“So, Mr. Jones, can you give us an idea what the film is about? “No.” And why exactly is that? “I don’t really know what the plotline is.” You’re in a movie and you don’t know what the plot is? “There are vast pieces of the script yet unwritten.”

Keep in mind that before filming began, the production schedule was broken up into two chunks: with and without Tommy Lee Jones.  Since the film takes place in 2011 and 1969, the studio set filming to begin last November on the 2011 portion with Jones, and then there would be a break in January to ready for the 1969 shoot with Brolin.  So it may be that since Jones is out of the rest of the production, he may not know too much either way.

However, earlier this week, we heard from the LA Times that the production has reportedly been delayed again due to “ongoing script issues”.  Writer Jeff Nathanson (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) is currently performing yet another rewrite after two other writers.

And finally, today, we are hearing from Deadline that suddenly, Alice Eve (SHE’S OUT OF YOUR LEAGUE) has signed on as a younger version of Emma Thompson’s “O,” who has taken over for Zed as the head of the MIB program.  An earlier version of the script does not even include Eve’s character.

Production is not set to resume on MIB:III until March 28th, but it’s also being reported that both Will Smith and Josh Brolin have expressed problems and annoyances.  The question is…will things be able to come together into something good for a final part of a trilogy, or will it all end up looking like it was held together with scotch tape?

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