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F. Gary Gray in talks to direct Men in Black film without Smith or Jones

Men in Black Tommy Lee Jones Will Smith Barry Sonnenfeld

The days of MEN IN BLACK being a Will Smith / Tommy Lee Jones franchise appear to be over, as Sony is seeking to relaunch the property with a different cast saving the world from interplanetary threats. A couple years ago, some thought was given to doing a crossover film and dropping Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill's 21 JUMP STREET / 22 JUMP STEET characters into the world of MEN IN BLACK, but that idea has been scrapped in favor of taking a JURASSIC WORLD approach of handing the reins over to brand new characters.

This reboot of sorts has gotten a greenlight based on the strength of a screenplay by the IRON MAN writing duo of Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, and now the studio appears to have found the director they want to bring that script to the screen: F. Gary Gray.

A director whose career stretches back to music videos in the 1990s, Gray's credits include the comedy FRIDAY, the remake of THE ITALIAN JOB, the thriller LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, the NWA biopic STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, and last year's billion dollar hit THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS. Interestingly, he also directed 2005's BE COOL, which was a sequel to the 1995 film GET SHORTY. GET SHORTY was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, who also directed all three MEN IN BLACK movies.

Taking over from Sonnenfeld, Gray is in talks to direct a MEN IN BLACK film that's described as being 

a spinoff grounded in the original premise, of a covert force policing the alien population hiding in plain sight.

The franchise is based on a comic book series created by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers. The new film is being produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, with Steven Spielberg executive producing.

If the deal is closed with Gray, the director will quickly begin working to get the film ready for the June 14, 2019 release date that Sony has already announced.

Extra Tidbit: What do you think of this relaunch idea?
Source: Deadline

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