Men In Black III Still Without Workable Script, On Hiatus Until April
We’re willing to laugh off a lot if the end result works out. The 1986 New York Mets snorted and boozed like Studio 54 patrons. Who cares? They won the World Series. President Andrew Jackson once sent a death threat to his own Vice President? Eh. He’s still easily better than half the other Presidents. In the long run how you got there doesn’t matter if you hit the finish line, but if you fall short you open yourself up to endless second guessing. Thus far the production on Men In Black III has been an absolute positive disaster. If the movie ends up at least watchable and turns a profit, it won’t matter; but if it sucks, a possibility that now seems probable, these trainwreck decisions will take on added weight.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production's hiatus has been extended to March 28th (they've been on break since just before Christmas). That’s a month and a half later than was originally scheduled, but the change is now needed in order to accommodate screenwriter David Koepp who’s been brought in to fix some fundamental problems in the script. You may remember producers made the bizarre decision to start production without a completed script in December to take advantage of the New York City tax credit breaks, which they were expecting to expire at the end of the year (they wound up getting extended for another five). The studio estimates they saved $35 million by starting in December, God only knows how much more money this hiatus will end up costing them in the long run.
Men In Black III follows Will Smith's character Agent Jay as he teleports back to the late 1960s to hobnob with his partner, played in the first two films by Tommy Lee Jones and as a younger version by Josh Brolin. The studio has wanted to extend this cash cow for years since the 2002 sequel was released, but until a script emerged written by Etan Cohen, Will Smith was reportedly unwilling to sign on for what he saw as an inferior product. Unfortunately, director Barry Sonnenfeld wasn’t quite as pleased with Cohen’s work, and now we’re at a standstill.
Few films have the money-making potential of Men In Black III. The first two collected money hand over fist and if this one continues that trend, then maybe all the delays were worth it. If it fails to bring in the two hundred million plus it’s costing, expect the studio to let nothing like this ever happen again.
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