By now, you’ve probably heard about the recent comments made by Liam Neeson in an interview with The Independent, which saw the star of Cold Pursuit and the upcoming Men in Black International admit to walking out into the streets armed with a cosh multiple times a few decades ago in the hope of getting into a conflict with a black person that would give him an opportunity to kill them.
Understandably, the claim has been the subject of heavy controversy and backlash, and for fans who were looking forward to the next Men in Black movie, it would be putting it lightly to say that the incident has soured the atmosphere. In the sci-fi reboot, Neeson is set to play High T, the head of MIB’s UK branch, but according to some Twitter users, the studio would do well remove the actor from the final cut, with one fan posting:
“Was really excited for Men in Black: International with @chrishemsworth & @TessaThompson_x. Was 1 of my most anticapated films for 2019. Hated his casting before the horrifying controversy, but now really hope it’s not too late to digitally erase racist f**k Liam Neeson from it.”
Though International is scheduled for release on June 14th of this year, there have certainly been cases in the past of films removing controversial actors at such short notice, perhaps the most famous being Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, which switched Kevin Spacey for Christopher Plummer. It seems that some social media users have a similar idea in mind for Neeson, with one tweet offering the following tongue-in-cheek suggestion:
“I guess Sony pictures will soon be hiring Christopher Plummer to replace Liam Neeson in the upcoming Men In Black reboot. #LiamNeeson.”
Though it remains to be seen how Sony plans to tackle the situation, some fans of the series are at least anticipating that Neeson’s presence in the marketing for the movie will be severely reduced, while others hope that he won’t be involved in the Men in Black International press tour. Either way, it seems that the film will be arriving in cinemas with more controversy around it than anyone could’ve anticipated just a few days ago.