Exclusive: Men In Black Anime In The Works

By Michileen Martin | Published

Will Smith Tommy Lee Jones Men in Black

Now that Congress is speaking openly about aliens, it looks like it’s time for our favorite covert alien enforcement heroes to return. According to our trusted and proven sources, an anime based on the Men in Black franchise is on the way. Rather than a movie, we believe the anime will be a TV series.

We’ve exclusively learned a Men in Black anime is in development.

Considering the origins of the franchise, it’s fitting that the series finally finds itself being adapted into an anime. Most anime are adapted from manga and — while most fans understandably associate the story with the film series — Men in Black started off as a comic book.

The Men In Black Origins

The Men in Black were created by Lowell Cunningham and the first stories were published by Aircel Comics. Aircel was eventually acquired by Malibu Comics, which in turn was acquired by Marvel. So while it of course has nothing to do with the MCU, when Men in Black hit theaters in 1997, it was a Marvel Comics adaptation.

We don’t yet know much about the plot of the anime series, though considering how many anime series and films happily jump through multiple genres, it’s tempting to hope it might be closer to the source material than the films.

In the comics, the heroes were more like those of Fox’s The X-Files in that while aliens were one of their chief concerns, they also investigated more supernatural creatures like demons, werewolves, zombies, etc.

men in black
Men in Black: The Series

While this will be the first Men in Black anime, it won’t be the first time the franchise has been animated. The half hour cartoon show Men in Black: The Series premiered on Kids’ WB in 1997 and produced 53 episodes between then and 2001. Keith Diamond voiced Jay, Gregg Berger voiced his partner and mentor Kay, and Charles Napier played their boss Zed.

The Live-Action Movies

men in black series
Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in promotional art for Men in Black (1997)

Of course, the franchise’s main touchstone for most fans is the live-action film series that began with 1997’s Men in Black. Will Smith stars as Jay, an NYPD officer who is recruited to the titular covert organization by Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) after the former encounters an alien. The film served as many things at once — a sci-fi buddy cop action comedy — and was a hit.

Critics weren’t as impressed were either of its first two sequels, but all three of the films in the Smith/Jones led trilogy did well at the box office, with the global take home for each ranging between $445 million and $654 million. The movies‘ winning streak didn’t end until its heroes were replaced with new blood in 2019.

Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth in Men in Black: International (2019)

It was the Thor franchise’s Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson playing the new agents in 2019’s Men in Black: International. In spite of releasing over twenty years after the original, International proved to be the lowest grossing film in the series (even before accounting for inflation). According to Rotten Tomatoes, with a 23 percent critics score, it’s also the most poorly reviewed movie in the series.

Once we know more about the upcoming Men in Black anime, we’ll make sure you know.

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