Director Barry Sonnenfeld Talks About MEN IN BLACK 3's "Surprising Ending"


Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld recently gave an interview to MTV and shed some light on the upcoming sequel, out in theaters May 25th, 2012. For those of you who are trying to go into this movie completely cold, avoiding all of the trailers, plot, and story elements, you probably shouldn't have clicked on this article in the first place, but beware - some of what follows may be considered slightly spoiler-ish.

On how this whole movie was Will Smith's idea:

I think the important thing is to have a new, different story to tell. We didn't want another regular caper where some alien just comes down to threaten Earth, and the Men in Black have to solve it. The big idea — and it was actually Will's idea, while we were shooting "Men in Black 2" one night for an exterior shot. He said to me, "Barry, for 'Men in Black 3,' Agent J needs to go back in time to save Tommy Lee Jones' [character] from some event that's happened decades earlier. He needs to learn something about Tommy's character that he didn't know before." That was the genesis. Ten years later, we're about to come out and show the world what that meant.

On what actually happens in the movie:

What happens, actually, is [Agent J] gets arrested by Agent K — now Josh Brolin — in 1969. The second and third act is all about tracking down Boris [Jemaine Clement's villain character] and Will renewing his friendship with a different K than the K he knows from 40 years in the future. What's really cool is that J is constantly wondering why this guy who seems sort of open and happy became the sort of curmudgeon that has been his partner for the last 14 years. He makes a discovery about that. So, "Men in Black 3" is by far the most emotional of the movies. It has a really surprising ending.

On the rumors of behind the scenes problems with the script:

First of all, I don't know that I've ever been on a shoot thatwasn't stressful for the director. I think all movies are stressful in different ways. What was reported on this one was that we took a several-months hiatus to work on the script. As it relates to that, that concept was built into the shooting schedule. We wanted the next movie Will Smith was in after a long time where he wasn't in movies to be "Men in Black 3." We also wanted to shoot in New York, which had a tax incentive that was about to expire. It didn't expire, but we didn't know it wasn't going to expire, because New York state legislature had to vote it in again, and we weren't sure that was going to happen. So we started the movie with a full script and with a really great first act — but the second and third needed work. We built in a two-month hiatus so we could continue working on the script and not need an eight-week reshoot. So that's what we did. The truth is, the great thing about the movie, is that there was no stress between myself and any of the actors. We all got along very well. You don't ever want a director and a movie star who see two different movies. But we all were working with the same ideas in mind. We knew the characters, we knew the history, and we were very much in sync.

You can read much more with Sonnenfeld about the movie in the full interview at MTV.

I'm going to be truthful with you guys, because that's what this site is about: I don't care at all about Men in Black 3. I know it's a "geeky" movie and I'm "supposed" to be interested in it, but the last movie came out almost ten years ago and even THAT one was unnecessary as far as I'm concerned. Is anyone interested in seeing this film, and do you like what you've seen so far?

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