So there’s a few ways you can look at the news I’m about to deliver… One, that Sony is serious about making sure Men In Black III works and is using their built-in hiatus to avoid the problems that happen when you barrel through a production with a shoddy script, a la Iron Man 2, or Crystal Skull. OR, you can see it as a studio hiring a guy who wrote Crystal Skull to salvage an unworkable script while they pause a major production to make shit work. Likely, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Regardless, according to Deadline, David Koepp has been brought in to rework the remaining script for Men In Black III, which began its principle photography in November, before halting for a pre-planned hiatus. The shoot is intended to resume at the end of the month, an arrangement that allows the production to capitalize on the season change, and on certain tax incentives.
David Koepp is best known for his work on Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, War of the Worlds, and Mission Impossible, though lately he’s had spots like the aforementioned Indy 4 and Angels vs. Demons on his filmography. He’ll be retooling the remaining sequences of the new Will Smith film, which includes the portions of the film with Josh Brolin playing a younger Agent K.
What little enthusiasm I could muster for this project has dissipated simply because of the sheer odds against this being worthwhile, but frankly, none of this production stuff bothers me. They certainly can’t come up with anything worse than what they have by assessing what they’ve shot and having a writer restructure the to-be-shot portions. And there’s definitely no way this approach is any worse than the “fuck the script, shoot anyway” mentality that struck Hollywood so thoroughly in the year or so after the WGA strike, and who knows, maybe it will actually work?
Half the fun of Men In Black was the slow, deliberate introduction to a whole new understanding of our world, along with the tour through a unique and quirky organization. That’s not the sort of thing that you can ever replicate in a sequel, so they tend to just pile on new cute details that fall flat or fail to capture the same spirit of discovery. The best bet a sequel to that kind of film has is for one to be born out of a new story that has genuine passion behind it, right from the start. That ain’t the case here, clearly.
I’ll certainly watch a trailer with crossed fingers, but I’m not holding my breath.
But surely, it’s got to be better than II, right?
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