When it comes to naming the best comic book adaptations ever made, Men in Black gets left out of the conversation all to often. While it made huge deviations from the source material, Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1997 blockbuster was based on a six-issue run published by eventual Marvel subsidiary Malibu Comics.
Powered by the crackling chemistry between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, the sci-fi action buddy comedy was a brisk, breezy, fresh and funny smash hit that hauled in $589 million at the box office and holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92%, where it’s fully deserving of a reputation as one of the decade’s finest big budget studio efforts.
Besides returning for the second and third installments, Sonnenfeld hasn’t returned to the genre since, but he did confirm in a new interview with ComicBookMovie that he’s still developing Metal Men, the DC project he’s been attached to since 2013.
“You know, it’s funny because I am developing Metal Men with Warner Bros. We’re actively working on a treatment for that. For me, it’s not so much a superhero thing as it is world-building. If you look at the work I’ve done, whether it’s The Addams Family, Men in Black, Pushing Daisies, Schmigadoon!, or A Series of Unfortunate Events, it’s all about creating a world. An unusual, slightly off-kilter quirky, different kind of world; that’s what I love doing. It’s not specifically, necessarily superhero, but even in Metal Men, that I am developing, it’s going to be a very specific kind of world. It’s a real-world because I always like things to be reality-based, but slightly with a tilt to that. It all started with The Addams Family which is both real but slightly pushed.”
The Metal Men first debuted in 1962, with the team of artificially intelligent robots created by Dr. Will Magnus. Field leader Gold, muscle Iron, loyal Lead, volatile Mercury, insecure Tin and Platinum made up the core crew, with the latter believing she was a real woman who preferred to go by the name Tina. It’s a bizarre concept, but in the right hands it could be a fun deviation from the superhero formula.