There’s been talk for a while now about continuing the Men In Black sci-fi franchise, but exactly what form that extension of the three-film series will take has been the subject of speculation. In a recent interview with franchise producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, the pair offered an update of sorts on their plans for Men In Black — plans that don’t seem to include Will Smith.
Yes, despite starring in all three films and even creating a hit song about the franchise, it appears that Smith might not be in the mix for future Men in Black adventures.
“We’re in the middle of it. It’s very active,” Parkes told The Hollywood Reporter when asked about the long-rumored revival of the franchise, which kicked off in 1997 with director Barry Sonnenfeld’s live-action Men in Black. Asked whether Smith would be a part of the revival, Parkes responded, “Most likely no.”
The first film in the series cast Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as a pair of secret agents tasked with resolving conflicts on Earth that involve the planet’s hidden alien population. Smith and Jones went on to appear in all three films in the franchise, which earned more than $620 million in U.S. theaters and $1.6 billion worldwide and also spawned an animated series.
The premise for the franchise was loosely based on Lowell Cunningham’s little-known comic book series The Men in Black, which offered a significantly more gritty series of stories about agents tasked with solving extraterrestrial-related conflicts while keeping their existence secret by any means necessary.
“It will be reinvented as a trilogy,” said MacDonald of the planned revival of Men In Black, which was recently rumored to involve a crossover with the 21 Jump Street franchise that would poke fun at both series and take a lighthearted approach to the popular trend of crafting cinematic universes.