If you’ve been wondering how exactly the new Men in Black spin-off will tie to the original trilogy, the latest casting news for the movie offers part of the answer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Emma Thompson will reprise her role as Agent O, head of MIB, first introduced in the last installment, 2012’s Men in Black III (above).
So far, Agent O (who was also played by Alice Eve in younger form in MIB3) seems to be the only link and franchise gateway to the new movie. It makes sense that the chief of the titular organization would return for a spin-off set in another branch of the MIB — specifically the UK headquarters.
How big of a role she’ll have this time, though, is unclear. Previously we learned that Liam Neeson (who co-starred with Thompson in Love, Actually) would be the head of that London office, so he might be the primary boss figure for Tessa Thompson (no relation) and Chris Hemsworth’s agents.
Emma Thompson joins other recently added cast members Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and dance duo Les Twins (aka Laurent Nicolas Bourgeois and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois).
(See our previously-published posts below for more details on the upcoming film.)
Liam Neeson is taking a break from his usual set of thrillers to join another sci-fi franchise. The actor best known for his roles in the Star Wars, Dark Knight and Taken series, as well as his Oscar-nominated performance in Schindler’s List, is in talks to join the Men In Black spin-off/reboot, possibly titled MIB, which is coming to theaters next year.
According to Variety, Neeson would play the head of the UK office of the MIB, basically the British counterpart to Rip Torn’s character in the original trilogy. Presumably this will be a comedic part for the generally serious actor, though he could also be a straight man opposite the movie’s two standout leads.
Find out more about the existing cast members and everthing else we know about the new Men in Black installment below.
Are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones returning for the next movie?
No, the new Men in Black is a spin-off focused on the UK division of the apparently international agency.
What happened to the 21 Jump Street crossover?
That may still happen, but this spin-off is happening first.
Who is starring in this version?
Thor: Ragnarok co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson lead MIB as the new main Men in Black agents. Liam Neeson has joined the cast as their superior, head of the UK branch. The movie has also been described as more of an “ensemble piece.”
Will the plot concern an alien threat to the UK only?
While plot details are still under wraps, word is that this movie will deal with an invasion on a global scale and deal more with a larger intergalactic threat rather than a single alien villain hiding among us on Earth. Producer William F. Parkes told Deadline last fall that the script “somehow is true to the core of the MIB world and yet expands the franchise to a fresh new place.”
Who wrote this installment?
The writing duo of Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, who previously worked on the scripts for Iron Man and Transformers: The Last Knight, handled the MIB screenplay.
Who is directing the movie?
F. Gary Gray, best known for Straight Outta Compton and The Fate of the Furious is at the helm of MIB.
When can we see it?
MIB is scheduled to hit theaters on May 17, 2019.