A new Men in Black movie is being developed, but it’s a spinoff and not a proper fourth installment. So will Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith return as Agent Kay and Agent Jay?
Unfortunately, the early word is that neither Smith nor Jones will return for this film. However, that’s not because this is a full on reboot. Deadline reports that Smith and Jones aren’t expected to reprise their roles, but the new movie will build on the world of the first three films rather than resetting it.
Deadline notes in its report that Sony is going for something akin to Jurassic World here, indicating that this movie will take place in the same universe as the originals and won’t start from scratch, but it will also shift focus to a new cast and not feature the original stars. They also note that the goal is for this sequel to focus on “new characters chasing villains that put the picture on more of a global scale than the two previous films.”
The last film in the original series was Men in Black 3, released in 2012. That movie did not really serve as a conclusion to the Agent Kay and Agent Jay storyline; they are still working for the Men in Black agency by the end, so it’s unclear how this spinoff will write them out of the story. One would assume that if there was a world-ending conflict happening, Agent Kay and Agent Jay would be involved, but presumably this movie will either just keep those two characters of screen the whole time and let us assume they’re doing their own thing, or it will kill them off like Independence Day: Resurgence killed off Will Smith’s character from the original movie.
It doesn’t appear that Will Smith was ever going to be in this new Men in Black. In 2015, producer Walter Parkes provided an update about the next Men in Black and said that Smith “most likely” wouldn’t appear, adding that the franchise was being “reinvented.” There was also some discussion at the time about introducing a female agent.
Years ago, it was revealed that Sony was working on a Men in Black/21 Jump Street crossover film, and that’s apparently still in development, but this movie is taking priority. We hadn’t heard anything about this particular Men in Black spinoff before, but it’s pretty far along, as the studio has given it a release date of May 17, 2019. It is not yet known who will play the young agents in the film. The screenwriters for the project are Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, who worked on Iron Man and Transformers: The Last Knight, but no director has been hired.