Will Smith may not return for Men in Black 4
After the success of MEN IN BLACK 3 it seemed a no-brainer for Sony to try and make a fourth film. The struggling studio has not had many successes and with AFTER EARTH flopping this past weekend they are in dire need of some good news. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 doesn't hit until next year and their slate is not to populated with sure things after that. So, MEN IN BLACK 4 was put into development with 21 JUMP STREET 2 screenwriter Oren Uziel tasked with script duties.
But, there may be a big issue that would prevent MEN IN BLACK 4 from being a success: losing Will Smith. In an interview with Collider on the red carpet for AFTER EARTH, Smith said this about a fourth adventure as Agent J:
“I think three is enough for me. Three of anything is enough for me. We’ll look at it and we’ll consider it, but it feels like that it might be time to let someone else do that."
Tommy Lee Jones' role was significantly reduced which allowed for the time travel plot to bring Josh Brolin in to fill his role in MEN IN BLACK 3. So, if Smith doesn't want to star in a fourth film, would he be open to taking the senior partner part that Jones/Brolin played and let a younger recruit take the lead? Smith tried to do this with his son Jaden in AFTER EARTH which has left audiences cold. Will Smith is the big draw as an actor and leading man. Much like GHOSTBUSTERS 3, why would anyone want to see a sequel with the original players relegated to the backdrop?>
Smith could just be speaking his mind and could very well return for MEN IN BLACK 4. It all depends on what happens to his box office credibility in the aftermath of AFTER EARTH. I would be willing to wager if he cannot find another project to hit big with audiences, Big Willie may don the sunglasses and fight some aliens one more time.