MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL
MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL Thor and Valkyrie re-team for a franchise reboot…
We make this look good…
When Chris Hemsworth got hold of the script for Men In Black International, he immediately knew which ‘friend from work’ to call up. “Chris was like, ‘Hey, legend, are we going to rock this?’” recalls Tessa Thompson of her Thor: Ragnarok co-star’s text suggestion that they buddy up again. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna!’”
Having refreshed the Thor franchise with their bantz and comedic timing, Thompson and Hemsworth had been looking for another project to work on together – MIB’s return with a gender twist under the guidance of Fast 8 director F. Gary Gray seemed like a perfect fit. “We just had such a great time on that film,” says Hemsworth. “So when Tessa’s name was in the mix, it was like, ‘Aw, yeah – we can pick up where we left off. This will be easy.’”
Easy for the duo to fall back into their work-husband/work-wife dynamic, but times have changed since the days of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones’ 1997
debut, following Agents J and K as they police aliens on Earth, ensuring humans remain blissfully unaware of their existence. Specifically, #TimesUp has changed things. Yeah, the title is Men In Black, but Thompson’s Woman in Black, Agent M, is as kickass and capable as her more volatile male buddy, British Agent H. And they’re up against two other formidable
‘there’s always been great women in these movies – it’s a continuation’ Tessa Thompson
women in the shapes of Rebecca Ferguson’s Big Bad ET, Riza, and Emma Thompson’s returning Agent O. “When I was cast, [people] were like, ‘MEN In Black? How do you reconcile that?’” muses Thompson. “The truth is, there’s always been really great women in these movies. It’s a continuation.”
The difference is the globalisation of the MIB world – starting in the States before travelling to London (where Liam Neeson’s High T – geddit? – oversees operations), Marrakech, Ischia and Paris on a globetrotting mission that takes in gonzo stunts designed by Mission: Impossible’s supremo, Wade Eastwood.
“There are challenges inherent in making it really fresh, new and original,” admits Thompson of tweaking a 20-year-old franchise for a new audience. Hemsworth nods, “We have such a great foundation there… we just have to not screw it up.”
ETA | 14 JunE / MEn In BlAck InTErnATIonAl opEns In ThE suMMEr.