Men in Black International Details

The end of 2018 came with a promising glimpse of the upcoming Men in Black International, a half-sequel, half-reboot of the comic book franchise that started over 21 years ago. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones made the series memorable, even if the sequels never quite measured up to the original. Now it’s Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson throwing on the suits and shades, and with them will be coming some new aliens and locales mixed with the action and comedy fans have come to expect.

Find out all the new Men in Black International details below.

What’s the Story This Time?

As the first trailer for Men in Black International revealed, courtesy of voiceover from Liam Neeson, the secret organization believes there is a mole in MiB that is putting the entire operation at risk. This kind of threat means our MiB heroes Agent H (Hemsworth) and Agent M (Thompson) are globe-trotting to track down the threat, taking them from New York City to Istanbul to Italy and London, which is where Neeson is in charge of his own branch of the MiB, working from what is described as a “a massive mad snooker ball” by production designer Charlie Wood.

Entertainment Weekly reveals the story is set in motion after a powerful alien government is killed on Agent H’s watch (does that make him a suspect too?). This is all tied in to the concern of a mole in MiB, which will make keeping Earth safe from the scum of the universe rather difficult. Speaking of which…

Men in Black International

New Scum of the Universe

It wouldn’t be Men in Black without an exciting array of colorful aliens for the secret organization to deal with every day. However, this time make-up and effects legend Rick Baker isn’t part of the production, having recently retired, so a new crew is populating the Men in Black universe with aliens.

Jeremy Woodhead, who has worked on Doctor Strange and Avengers: Age of Ultron, created somewhere between 400 and 500 individual sketches for the movie. We’re not sure how many of them ended up in the movie, but apparently there’s one particular “showcase moment for the movie’s creature makers that recalls Star Wars’ iconic cantina scene.” Hopefully they’re also predominantly practical instead of relying on a lot of visual effects. That’s what made the aliens created by Rick Baker so cool to see in the original Men in Black movies.

One of the new creatures will be a bit of a sidekick int he movie. His name is Pawny, and we’ve already caught a glimpse of him in the first Men in Black International trailer (seen above). Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) is lending his voice to the character who is said to be “the last survivor of an alien race that had been hiding out on Earth disguised as a chess set.” Apparently he has some major self-esteem issues.

Men in Black International

Double Trouble

Another pair of new characters sound like they could really steal the show, especially when it comes to the villains of the franchise. French dancers Laurent & Larry Bourgeois are best known as back-up dancers for Beyoncé and winning NBC’s World of Dance in 2017. Director F. Gary Gray wanted to bring them on as a pair of aliens known as Les Twins, and yes, they get to showcase their dance movies.

One particular sequence, which you can see briefly teased in the trailer, has the duo strutting their stuff in a fight scene in the middle of a busy road in central London. Full of acrobatics and crisp yet smooth movement, apparently these two know how to bring it. Chris Hemsworth was wowed by their moves:

“It was Gary’s idea to bring them on, and I’ve just been rapt watching them move. It’s like some sort of high-speed, very postproduction altered state.”

Men in Black International

Lights, Camera, Action

Along with the expected assembly of unique aliens, the Men in Black franchise also comes with big action. And since stunt coordinator and second-unit director Wade Eastwood is on the scene, fresh off crafting incredible sequences for the last two Mission: Impossible movies, we’re in for a real treat. Even Thor himself wasn’t fully prepared for the level of action in this movie, mostly because it has to be a little more grounded than the Marvel movies he’s used to. The actor recalled:

“Thor’s stunts are wildly complicated, but it feels like an atomic bomb goes off with each of those [hammer] hits. Everything is sort of magnified to a level that is so nonhuman. Whereas this, we have to keep grounding it. There’s always a part of it where I’m like, ‘Can I do a flip or just sort of leap from this building to that one?’ and they’re like, ‘Nah, humans don’t do that sort of thing.’ So they have to rein me in occasionally.”

Wood says, “He’s been drifting cars on this and doing all sorts of things that are completely different than anything he’s done before.” Surely the same must be said for Thompson, who will also be doing her own fair share of ass-kicking.

But one person who didn’t have quite as difficult of a time adjusting is Mission: Impossible franchise star Rebecca Ferguson, who is playing an alien named Riza, glimpsed in the trailer in a fight with Tessa Thompson, who gets overtaken by the alien’s third arm.

Men in Black International - Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson Taking the Torch

With Tessa Thompson co-starring in Men in Black International, this is the first time a woman has been given a prominent role as an agent of the MiB. Linda Fiorentino was added to the team at the end of the original movie, but that never turned into a significant role for her in the franchise at large. She not only brings that new aspect to the franchise, but her character is the first one who hasn’t been recruited by Men in Black, but instead seeks them out. Thompson said:

“The genesis of the whole thing is a young girl whose life had been altered by an encounter with Men in Black, and the idea is that unlike Will [Smith] in the original films, she’s a protagonist who hasn’t been recruited but has found them.”

However, even though she’s unlike Will Smith in that regard, there’s one aspect of the original movie that she loved and hopes to continue with this latest installment:

“I mean, the start of the first movie talks about immigration, and Will [Smith] has these really searing jokes about race…. I think you do have the chance inside of all this escapism to say something, and make a movie that has heart and that has satire and that holds up a mirror to our stuff. I think that’s possible, without preaching.”

Head to Entertainment Weekly for more. Men in Black International arrives in theaters on June 14, 2019

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