Men in Black: International debuted last week and, instead of being the successful relaunch of the sci-fi action-comedy franchise we were expecting, it ended up having an embarrassingly low opening weekend gross. Besides that, reviews weren’t kind and it currently sits at just 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. But what went so wrong for the soft reboot starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson?
You might not be surprised by the answer, as it’s one of the oldest in the book: apparently, MIB: I had some big production troubles behind the scenes. The Hollywood Reporter has cast light on the situation in a new article, revealing that director F. Gary Gray almost walked away from the movie several times during filming. The reason is because he supposedly clashed with producer Walter Parkes.
While Gray was trying to make the pic he wanted, Parkes allegedly pushed for massive script rewrites, leading to Hemsworth and Thompson bringing on board their own dialogue writers to lend a hand. Ultimately, once production had wrapped, it was up to Sony to decide who they were going to side with. THR says that the studio tested Gray’s cut and Parkes’ cut to audiences, before ultimately picking the producer’s edit. This is the one you’ll see in theaters.
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THR presses, though, that Men in Black: International wasn’t a Dark Phoenix-type scenario and never went through extensive reshoots that completely reshaped the movie. In this case, it’s just that all the issues were focused during the process of principal photography. All this might explain why the fourth entry in the series has been uniformly criticized for being uneven and thin on the ground.
Men in Black: International opened to a paltry $28.5 million, which hardly seems enough to make this the franchise restart it was intended to be. Looks like Sony might have to use the neuralizer on the film and reboot again in a few years.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter