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Sing it with us: “Here come the Men In Black… again!” It has been seven years since the black-suited galaxy protectors at the Men In Black graced our movie screens, and Sony plans to bring the outfit out of mothballs for this summer’s Men In Black International. There will be some major changes. Gone are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, staples of the series through the first three films. In their place are new agents played by Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, each eager to take on a globe-trotting adventure.
With the movie’s release date on the horizon, CinemaBlend ventured to London to spend time on the set of director F. Gary Gray’s sequel and learn about how Men In Black International planned to move the story forward, while also leaning on the franchise’s past. There will be nods to the existing Men In Black movies – heck, Emma Thompson reprises her role as Agent O, proving this story takes place in the same continuity as the Smith and Jones adventures. And one prop, in particular, will play more of a central role in this movie’s narrative.
Producer Walter Parkes opened up about the development of the story for Men In Black International, saying that Chris Hemsworth’s character, Agent H, is well-known for defeating a villain known as The Hive. Only, maybe he didn’t… and his memory is affected by the infamous neuralyzer that’s always used in the MiB series. Parkes told CinemaBlend:
Rafe [Spall] plays Agent C, who’s Chris’s rival. The Hive is the villainous force that Liam [Neeson] and Chris defeated four years before all of this. And our story deals with a sort of repeating history. The Hive have come back, and we discover that the circumstances of the great moment that made Chris’s character a hero may not have been true. So it’s interesting. … You know the thing about the neuralyzer, it’s a very interesting prop in the Men in Black universe, and the idea of taking people’s memories away and putting in false memories, which we’ve used but sort of around the kind of periphery of our plots, might have a little more central role in this one.
That’s an interesting approach. Is it possible that Chris Hemsworth’s Agent H was neuralyzed by his own people into believing he did some heroic deeds? In the initial trailer for Men In Black International, Hemsworth was playing his character as someone who is a little aloof and above the action, perhaps seeing himself as too good to worry about alien creatures and otherworldly messes. Maybe it’s because his memory has been altered? We’ll know soon enough.
Tessa Thompson, meanwhile, fits into the narrative as a New York-based fan of the MiB who discovers the secret agency, then talks Emma Thompson’s supervisor into letting her into the organization. Tessa will join Hemsworth on his missions, and probably prove herself to be more adept at alien busting than the burly Aussie is.
See their chemistry on display in that full Men In Black International trailer:
It’s cool that the new story is making good use of props from the original series, and evening finding important ways to potentially use them and add fresh angles to the Men In Black narrative. The use of the neuralyzer is a signature move for MiB, and I’m curious about how using it on an agent like H will impact the story.
Find out when Men In Black International arrives in theaters on June 14. And stay on CinemaBlend for a lot more coverage from our visit to the set of F. Gary Gray’s upcoming sequel.