Wednesday, March 16, 2011
What is happening with Men in Black 3?
The Hollywood Reporter has a piece on the convoluted production, and non-production as it were, of the Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones starrer. Essentially, the $200 million-plus picture started shooting without a finished script last November. And while -- believe it or not -- that's not entirely unusual these days, the fact that now, some five months after production began, it still doesn't have a locked screenplay… well, that is something of a problem, it would seem.
"Sony Pictures started filming Men in Black III with only one act of the script set," explains the trade. "The studio built in a break in production that was scheduled to last from late December through mid-February, during which the remainder of the screenplay was supposed to be completed."
The hiatus was also meant to take advantage of New York tax incentives for film production. But now that break has been extended until the end of March as new scribe David Koepp has come in to work out "complex script issues involving time travel." Because the MIB movies have always been such bastions of realistic sci-fi and logic? Or is there something else going on here?
Insiders tell THR that the film might've gone into production simply because all of the main players -- Smith, Jones and director Barry Sonnenfeld -- had well-timed openings in their schedules. It has been almost a decade since the second film, after all, and who knows what kind of wait Sony would've had if they let these guys go off into the wild again.
Tropic Thunder's Etan Cohen wrote the initial script, but Smith wanted to make changes to it. And the paper also indicates that tension between Sonnenfeld and producer Walter Parkes are further complicating matters. "The real evil here is Walter trying to impose his point of view on things," says another source. "And because he's so facile and he's got great hair, he wins the day a lot. But what sounds great never materializes into a screenplay."
Yes, great hair will do a lot for you in life. But will it get Men in Black III into theaters by its planned summer, 2012 date? That might take some complex time travel to pull off at this point.