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If you're aware at all of the existence of Men in Black III, you're probably heard of just how much effort it took that movie to get made. Finishing out a trilogy 15 years after the first film came out is always tricky, but that goes double when you go into production without a finished script, then go on hiatus to finish the script, only to have the budget balloon even further because of Will Smith's alleged star demands. The movie is reportedly finished and set for its May 25 release this year, and maybe now that they're out from the cloud of the actual production, director Barry Sonnenfeld and makeup designer Rick Baker are willing to speak out about how crazy the whole experience was.
Speaking in the print edition of Empire (via The Playlist), Sonnenfeld hedged his bets and admitted they started without a finished script, but allowed for the possibility that it might turn out to be a genius move:
"We knew starting the movie that we didn't have a finished second or third act. Was it responsible? The answer is, if this movie does as well as I think it will, it was genius. If it's a total failure, then it was a really stupid idea."
Baker wasn't afraid to be even more blunt:
"It was a crazy production. We had a writer actually on the soundstage writing the words moments before the guys had to say them. I don't think that's any way to make a movie. But I've seen a rough cut and I was actually shocked at how good it was."
You can imagine an industry veteran like Baker, who has created makeup and creature effects for American Werewolf in London, Batman Forever and dozens of other productions, standing in horror watching the three-ring circus that was apparently the Men in Black III production. Sonnenfeld, as the director, has to take a little more responsibility-- though apparently in the Empire article he also credited Will Smith himself with the idea for the loopy time-travel plot of MiB III, so maybe Sonnenfeld has a lot less power than you think.
With so many people focused on the potential pitfalls of the big-budget John Carter, opening next week, I really wonder why no one has turned their attention to Men in Black III, which seems more ludicrously expensive and bound for disaster-- maybe it's too easy a target? I"ll be holding out hope that it's good, if only to validate Josh Brolin's spot-on Tommy Lee Jones impression, as seen as the end of this trailer. But with Sonnenfeld and Baker even admitting that they might not have made it that well, how are the rest of us supposed to hold out hope?