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When the first Men in Black came out back in 1997, it was a pop culture phenomenon. Behind James Cameron’s Titanic, it was the most watched movie that year. Tessa Thompson, who now stars as Agent M in Men in Black International, was among those who were swept up by the franchise from the beginning.
As Men in Black International debuts in theaters this weekend, the actress took to Instagram to share why the sci-fi film series is so close to her heart. Check it out:
This is sweet! Tessa Thompson shared that she first watched Men in Black when she was 14 years old and her mind was blown. She was especially a fan of Will Smith, who was immensely popular for his role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air at the time. She went on to thank him and Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K for paving the way to her M and Chris Hemsworth’s Agent H in the new release.
It’s nice to know how much of a fan Tessa Thompson is of the franchise already and that she frequently watched the original movies during the making of the new Men in Black film. The sequel/spinoff expands the universe past New York City, as Agent H & M venture into locations such as London, Paris and Marrakesh to hunt down a mole in the organization.
Tessa Thompson’s M was actually key to rebooting the franchise, according to the film’s producers. The movie is framed around her origin about her witnessing her parents getting neuralyzed by Men in Black after an alien sighting. She then spends her life in search of the secret organization to prove to herself she’s not crazy and join it herself. Here’s what producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald recently told CinemaBlend of the importance of M’s story in the franchise reboot:
All screenplays usually go through many lives, and certainly in these movies you go through many plots and set pieces - all of those things can change. But the one thing that stayed through all the drafts we did was her character.
Men in Black International has, however, not fared well with critics, with CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell calling it “unimaginative” in his two star review. The movie doesn’t look like it will impress at the box office this weekend either, as it tracks to make $30 million domestically. Foreign markets will make up for this underwhelming numbers as Men in Black International is expected to nab $80 million overseas.
The movie sees Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reteaming up after their chemistry lit up the big screen in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. The film also stars Kumail Nanjiani, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson. You can check it out in theaters now among other new releases The Dead Don’t Die, Late Night, Shaft and American Woman.