Director F. Gary Gray is currently the frontrunner to direct Sony Pictures and Amblin’s planned UNTITLED MEN IN BLACK SPIN-OFF, which will take place in the same world as the popular sci-comedy franchise starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
Sony and Amblin have spent the last few years trying to figure out how to follow up MIB 3, which grossed $624 million worldwide and $179 million domestically in the summer of 2012. Five years have passed and neither Smith nor Jones are as popular as they were in the franchise’s heyday. Another option that had been discussed at Sony was teaming them with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum from the popular 21 Jump Street movies, but that seems to have been put on the backburner for now.
Instead, this is a straight spin-off of the original series set in the same world where a secret government group has been assembled to fight extraterrestrial invaders. Comparisons are being made to Jurassic World in that there will be new characters and actors leading the film. David Beaubaire is overseeing the project for Sony with the movie scheduled for release on June 14, 2019.
The original Men in Black was based on the Malibu Comics comic by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers, but Smith and Jones really made the franchise their own with its mix of science fiction, action and comedy.
Repped by UTA and Principato-Young Entertainment and Del Shaw Moonves, Gray is coming off the eighth chapter in Universal’s action franchise The Fate of the Furious, which came after the equally successful NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, both which grossed over $150 million domestically.
Gray is actually a great choice for the movie considering that he has experience in big-budget action movies and proved with Fate of the Furious that he can crank out one of these summer tentpoles relatively quickly.
The Tracking Board has confirmed that Gray is in negotiations with his involvement first reported by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor