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Why have audiences flocked to Men In Black movies over the years? Some come for the comedy. Others want to see creative alien species, potentially living among us in our over-populated cities. But most want to enjoy the yin-yang chemistry of the lead agents, which was on full display when Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones wore the signature suits and sunglasses of the MiB.
The dynamic will change later this summer when Men In Black International casts Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as the lead agents on a massive new case. So CinemaBlend traveled to London to visit the set of International and find out exactly how these two Thor: Ragnarok veterans will blend on this new adventure. Hemsworth began by describing his own arrogant agent, Agent H, and explained:
My character certainly kind of does things his own way. He’s pretty reckless in his approach, and... he doesn’t take advice from others. He works alone, usually. And then in this particular instance, [my character and Tessa’s character] sort of teamed up together, I think outside of either of their first choice I think. They’d prefer… she’d probably rather be saddled with someone a little more [laughs] on book. But, as I said it gives us somewhere to go and gives us a nice arc.
Tessa Thompson, in trying to nail down their approach to the partnership, referenced back to the relationship built by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the first three Men In Black movies. She elaborated:
[Our characters] both misunderstand each other and one thing that we’ve talked about a lot, Chris and I, is this idea of what do they teach each other? I think that was something that was so touching about Will and Tommy’s dynamic for the course of the three films is you felt like they really offered each other something. They were able to just be better men, frankly, from being in the company of each other, that they made each other stretch and grow in a way. And that’s played with the easiness that this franchise has, but that it’s inherent. And so, we were talking about that and obviously because, you know... there’s also some other layers of dynamics between it because we’re--he’s a guy and I’m a girl and...and you know. [laughs].
Ah yes, the inevitable romance question. It remains to be seen if Men In Black International will pair Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson that way. That certainly would be a departure from what we’ve seen in this series to date. But Thompson connected the chemistry shared between her and Hemsworth to more iconic duos in Hollywood history. She told CinemaBlend:
These characters, there’s some like Princess Leia/Han Solo in there. There’s Hepburn and Tracy, you know there’s... there’s real sort of texture, and to me, when we’re really singing, it reminds me of some of those iconic duos. And I think with a lot of those, there’s this undercurrent of emotion, but there are so many directions in which the relationship can go and the thing that really is the most exciting about those relationships, I think, is a true meeting of mind and of wit, and a sort of back and forth with that. That creates tension.
The Men In Black International creative team wasn’t done making comparisons to classic on-screen duos as they spoke about the bind being formed by Hemsworth and Thompson. When CinemaBlend got the chance to speak with producer Walter Parkes about this continuation, he compared his leads to the two main characters from James L. Brooks’ classic comedy Broadcast News, and that certainly got our attention. He said:
You know, Holly Hunter was so like, hyper-rational and Bill Hurt was so kind of at ease with the world and sort of bigger than the world and smaller than the world at the same time, and the way they connected was certainly an inspiration for understanding what this character relationship might be.
You can see some of this in action in the main Men In Black International trailer, which we’re happy to share below:
Men In Black International looks to take the action of the series away from New York City (where it primarily rested for three movies) and through several other different global locations. The sequel co-stars Hemsworth and Thompson, though they will be joined by Rafe Spall, Rebecca Ferguson, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson, reprising her role as Agent O.