The actress has just been cast in “a plum role” alongside Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Liam Neeson.
The talent in the untitled Men in Black spinoff, set to release next May, is growing to epic proportions. Early last month we learned that Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) were joining the film, and previously the formidable Liam Neeson was set to play the head of MIB operations. Emma Thompson will reportedly be reprising her role as “Agent O,” as well.
The crowning achievements of F. Gary Gray’s Men in Black movie, though, are undoubtedly Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth as the lead agents of the film. The duo made waves in Thor: Ragnarok and are a dream team for this seasoned franchise. Now, Deadline has announced that Mission Impossible: Fallout’s Rebecca Ferguson will be joining the new black-suited squad.
All that’s known about her character is that it’s described as a “plum role.” Obviously, she’s not the female lead — that’s Thompson — so who could Ferguson be playing? Since she also recently signed on as the antagonist Rose the Hat in the upcoming Doctor Sleep film, perhaps her part in Men in Black could also be that of the villain.
Looking back on the baddies of old in the Men in Black franchise, one has to wonder if Ferguson will be another extraterrestrial-in-disguise or, instead, a human adversary of the MIB organization this time around. Perhaps she is even another agent, operating from within. As this film is set to expand on the original trilogy, rather than being an entirely new reboot, there is a possibility her appearance could fit into the MIB’s villain-in-disguise formula.
In the first film, 1997’s Men in Black, the unsettlingly yet comical Edgar (played by Vincent D’Onofrio) is actually a gigantic extraterrestrial cockroach masquerading as a human. It’s not easy to forget the moment where the alien in the “Edgar suit” finally emerges to reveal its true self. Perhaps Ferguson will also be a villainous creature hiding in human skin, though hopefully one with fewer antennae.
This villain reveal comes again in the first sequel, as well. The 2002 film’s primary adversary is a disturbingly sensual shape-shifting alien played by Lara Flynn Boyle. This may not have been the best installment, however, and it’s unlikely the upcoming MIB spinoff would degrade Ferguson the same way it did Boyle. Yet the pattern stands, making one wonder if Hemsworth and Thompson will be facing off with something very sinister but disguised as the actress.
Ferguson has a sometime-hero quality in Mission: Impossible, often serving as an obstacle to Ethan Hunt while ultimately standing firmly by his side at the end of the day. Should Men in Black transform her into a villain through and through, it would be an interesting variation to both the “problematic protagonist” character from the recent Fallout and to her antagonist in Doctor Sleep. But portraying her as an antihero or unlikely ally in the film would feel appropriate based on what we’ve come to see of her in two M:I sequels.
The plot of 2019’s Men in Black is still largely unknown, with only the growing ensemble cast keeping curious (and ravenous) fans of the original film at bay. The spinoff is already throwing out quite a strong lure with its cast, with Ferguson’s eye-catching presence and talent a satisfying addition to the mix of actors on board. Expectations are sure to only grow higher and higher from this point on.