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Sony isn’t kidding about Men in Black 3. Even in a sea of uncertainty, including the fact that stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, as well as director Barry Sonnenfeld, all have not been secured for another film, the studio is hiring a writer and looking toward a 2010 start date for the third film in the sci-fi comedy franchise that has grossed just over a billion dollars worldwide with its first two frames.

According to THR’s Risky Business, Tropic Thunder and Idiocracy co-writer Etan Cohen has been hired to pen a script for the upcoming threequel. The THR report states that Cohen is already deep into his draft, which according to them signifies that Sony intends to continue the franchise’s top-tier status. And why wouldn’t they? The first two Men in Black films, quality aside, were major breadwinners in 1997 and 2002. And we can be sure that there’s plenty more story to be told in the world of secret agents who travel the world in the shadows, patrolling for real illegal aliens.

To be completely honest — this news wouldn’t bother me so much if it didn’t seem to be preemptive. If Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones sign on, I won’t have a problem getting on board the “wait and see” wagon. I liked the first two MIB films for what they were — a little cheezeball, but ultimately entertaining. And lets face it, Oscar-chaser Will Smith could use a simple summer hit after the abysmal bore that was Seven Pounds.

Ed Solomon wrote the script for the first Men in Black (which featured one of my all-time favorite Vincent D’Onofrio performances as the main villain), while Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro penned the second film.


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