Sony fast-tracking MIB Spin-off for May 2019 release.

The Men in Black are officially back, just not the agents that you were expecting. Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures is fast-tracking a Men in Black spin-off and they’re targeting a May 17, 2019, release date.

The Men in Black series made its debut in 1997 and solidified Will Smith as a box office megastar. The movies are based on famous conspiracy theories/urban legends about a secret government organization that specializes in extraterrestrial encounters. Between 1997-2012, Smith and co-star Tommy Lee Jones appeared in all three installments which earned Sony Pictures $1.6 billion at the global box office.

Men in Black 3, arrived in theaters a decade after the series’ previous entry and felt like a cash grab. The film failed to impress its target audience and brought back a series low $179,020,854. The franchise has remained dormant for the past five years and the most interesting news attached to the Men in Black series are rumors about crossing it over with Sony’s 21 Jump Street films. The franchise mashup is still on the table; however, Sony is more concerned about getting their Men in Black spin-off property in theaters pronto.

The upcoming spin-off’s producer, Walter F. Parkes, had this to say about the status of the script, “It’s so rare to get to the end of the script and know you’re holding a movie in your hands – but Art and Matt have written a spin-off that somehow is true to the core of the MIB world, and yet expands the franchise to a fresh new place.”

The spin-off will be the first entry in the series that doesn’t feature Smith and Jones’ Agents Jay and Kay. Smith and Jones aren’t expected to appear in the film to hand off the baton to the next generation either. The script which is penned by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (the writers of Iron Man and Transformers: The Last Knight) aims to expand on Jay and Kay’s alien-infested world. Deadline is also reporting the new movie is, “focusing on new characters chasing villains that put the picture on more of a global scale than the two previous films.” If you read between the lines, Sony wants Men in Black to appeal to foreign markets. And while the obvious target would be China, Sony’s previous Men in Black and Ghostbusters movies have had difficulty getting past the country’s rigorous censorship practices.

If I had to bet, I wouldn’t put my money on the Men in Black spin-off. Men in Black found success by capturing lightning in a bottle. The combination of Will Smith’s star-making performance and the film’s ground-breaking visual effects proved irresistible to audiences  If you don’t believe me go ahead and watch the 1997 video where Smith dances with a CGI alien (it’s still dope!). The spin-off is facing a couple major hurdles: First, there’s no Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. And second, it’s 2017, and moviegoers aren’t bewitched by crazy computer effects anymore. Men in Black 3 had Will Smith and an audience that wasn’t beholden to Netflix and the film still disappointed.

More to Read: