OK, here’s the thing: the first Men In Black film was enjoyable. Not great, not on any top 10 lists, but it was certainly a lot of fun, in no small part due to the undeniable charisma of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. It was clever, it was fun, it had some boffo effects and Vincent D’Onofrio in one of my favorite roles (to this day I like to randomly bark out “Where do you keep your dead?!” to complete strangers). The second one was … not so good. Hell, I barely remember it at all, to be honest. I know I saw it, and I know I didn’t particularly like it, despite the presence of Rosario Dawson.
Well, Etan Cohen is working on a third entry. No director or cast has been signed — who knows where Will Smith’s head is these days and whether a) he’d be willing to return and b) whether Sony Pictures would be willing to pay what would likely be a huge salary. Tommy Lee Jones … who knows. Tommy Lee Jones is an enigma. Yeah, he was in No Country for Old Men, and he was wonderful in it. But he was also in Man of the House. Anyone see that one? I did. My brain still hasn’t forgiven me.
Anyway, according to Dark Horizons, the studio is rushing ahead and wants to start filming in 2010, which is great considering that absolutely no one is attached to it. That type of rushed scheduling always pans out well.
The good news is that Cohen is a damn good writer, having co-written the screenplays for Tropic Thunder and Idiocracy. Of course, that isn’t to say that a studio isn’t capable of fucking up a great script, but one can but hope. Men In Black is a great premise, and should theoretically have the potential for a substantial series of films (or even someday a really kickass TV show), but that doesn’t seem to be the way things trend. We’ll see.