Posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
The production schedule for Barry Sonenfeld‘s Men in Black III has been a strange one. After an initial delay, filming started last year. But a break was planned into the schedule — for reasons innocuous or not, depending upon whom you believe — with the first half of the shoot kicking off last November and running until Christmas. Then there was a planned break, with shooting meant to continue this month.
But now the film won’t have cameras rolling again until March 28, due reportedly to script issues.
The LA Times reports, based on communication from “a person close to the 3-D production who was not authorized to speak about it publicly,” that the script just isn’t ready. Last year Jeff Nathanson was brought in to work on the draft originally penned by Etan Cohen. He’s reportedly still working on the pages that will power the second half of the shoot.
Let’s recap, but be aware that what follows might be considered spoilerish if you haven’t been following the production so far.
The actual shoot schedule was spit into two halves, in part, because the film is split into two parts. There is a modern day component, which is what was shot last year, and then a big chunk that takes place in 1969, with Josh Brolin playing a young version of Tommy Lee Jones‘ character Agent K. The period scenes will reportedly feature the young K encountering real-life characters like Yoko Ono, but the actual story for the film has been kept pretty tightly under wraps, and at this point could well have changed.
The official line is that the holiday break was designed because of ‘seasonal concerns’ and tax breaks, rather than creative problems. Some of the info about the delay came from an interview the paper did with Josh Brolin, who seemed impatient as he said “It’s one of those things where they say, ‘OK, I’m going to go in a week’ and then they say, ‘Actually, it’s going to be two weeks.’ OK, that’s all right. And then they go, ‘OK, it’s going to be three,’ ” he said. “I mean, come on already.”
But really: it is incredibly strange that a film like this would be shot in two parts, and furthermore, that the script for the second part would not be locked down. Well, judging by the way tentpoles have been going lately, shooting without a script isn’t all that rare any longer, but the split schedule is seriously odd.