Sony must have thought they’d strike gold with Men in Black: International, a reboot of a perennially popular franchise starring Thor: Rangarok’s Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. For whatever reason, though, the film didn’t make much of an impression. Sure, it earned over $250 million at the global box office, but that’s a little lackluster when you consider the $110 million price tag on the budget. Nonetheless, the Men in Black brand is not dead and the studio may have a way to fix it.
We Got This Covered has heard from our sources – the same ones who told us the leads in Ghostbusters 3 would be young teens, and that a Green Lantern show was in development, both of which turned out to be true – that Sony is considering bringing original stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones back for Men in Black 5. To clarify, Hemsworth and Thompson would return, too, and the plot would see both pairs of MIB agents teaming up to save the world. To make sure they’re recapturing the franchise’s classic magic, Sony is also said to be thinking about getting Barry Sonnenfeld, director of the first three films, back to helm it.
We’re told that this is just an idea they’re developing at the moment and isn’t 100% going to happen. That being said, our sources are quite confident that it will. And you can certainly understand the studio’s thinking here. If even getting two MCU stars in to head up a reboot didn’t work, then people must really love Smith and Jones and they’re needed to make it feel like a proper Men in Black movie. The original trilogy earned over $1.6 billion altogether, after all, and you can’t argue with those kind of numbers.
In any case, Sony Pictures Chairman Tom Rothman has previously admitted that he doesn’t think there was “a strong enough idea in the story” to propel MIB: International to success. Maybe a cross-generational crossover of secret agents will be high-concept enough to hook back all the fans that skipped the last film, then?
Of course, Hemsworth and Thompson will be busy shooting Thor: Love and Thunder next year, so Men in Black 5 might not happen for a while. But, from what we’re hearing, Smith and Jones will almost certainly be back in black at least one more time.