After a decade away, the alien-policing Men in Black returned to theaters in 2012 with Men in Black III, and since then there been questions about how the franchise will continue, if at all. Well, now we have the answer. A new Men in Black movie has finally been scheduled, but unlike its predecessors, this entry will not star Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as Agents J and K, respectively, instead opting to focus on new well-dressed characters.
Rather than being Men in Black 4 (or IV, if you prefer the Roman numerals), the new Men in Black movie is described as being a spinoff of the main series. Sony has dated the next installment for May 17, 2019, putting it in direct competition with John Wick 3. According to Deadline, Matt Holloway and Art Marcun, the duo that wrote Iron Man and Transformers: The Last Knight, penned this new Men in Black script. This new movie will be put on a "more global scale" than the previous Men in Black movies, and it's intended to reboot the franchise in a similar way to what Jurassic World did for the Jurassic Park franchise. Walter F. Parkes and Laurie McDonald are attached as producers, and Steve Spielberg will executive produce. Meeting are currently underway to find a director.
Although there had been on-and-off reports over the years of a traditional fourth Men in Black sequel being put into development, over the last several years, it was though that the sci-fi comedy series would continue through a crossover with the Jump Street series, another Sony property. Just like this newly-announced spinoff, MIB23 would have starred new agents rather than Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones' characters, but Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill were expected to reprise Greg Jenko and Morton Schmidt, respectively. MIB23 is still in development, but this spinoff has now taken priority. Perhaps once these new Men in Black protagonists are established, then we can get a team-up with them and the policemen who go undercover as students for a living.
The Men in Black film series (based off the comic book series of the same name) kicked off in 1997 to critical and commercial acclaim, with the two sequels pairing Will Smith's J and Tommy Lee Jones' K together again to stop alien threats from harming Earth. While the absence of these actors in the upcoming spinoff may not sound appealing to some, it is appreciated that the new movie won't be a full reboot. After all, even if those two agents are now retired, Earth has plenty of other Men in Black to keep our planet safe, but perhaps this story could still call back to a few of J and K's notable exploits to serve as connective tissue with the original trilogy.