From the big brother in The Goonies to playing George W. Bush for Oliver Stone in W., Josh Brolin has been around. He’ll next star as the supernatural gunslinger Jonah Hex, a comic adaptation at Warner Bros., further bringing him into the mainstream pool. And now that he’s in that pool, there’s no higher rung on the ladder than starring in a summer tentpole alongside Will Smith — something that may happen soon.

Hero Complex is reporting today that Brolin is in talks to star alongside Smith in Men in Black 3, a long-gestating project currently being scripted by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder). The nature of his role is yet to be made clear, but the report does speculate a bit:

…in recent days there’s been chatter in Hollywood development circles of a few possibilities: He could play a new single-monikered government agent, with Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K passing the baton to Brolin’s character. Or he could play Agent K as a young man. Or something else entirely.

Word on the street is that Will Smith will also return.

What this says to me is that the script is going well, and that Sony is getting closer to giving the project a full green light. As I’ve explained before, I’m in if the main creative team behind the first two are in. And while this news means that Tommy Lee Jones may or may not be in, it is encouraging. Brolin is no slouch. The key here will be scheduling. Now that Hex and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street sequel have wrapped, he will move on to star in True Grit for the Coen Bros. (which is already setting up here in Austin) and the crime drama Cartel, which is scheduled to start in January. Sony is said to want to begin shooting in the spring, which would be tight.

Either way, we’ll keep watching as this story continues to develop…

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