The Men in Black franchise kicked off in July 1997, spawning three movies, a spin-off titled Men in Black: International, various video games, and a four-season television series. Now, word is circulating that one of the franchise’s biggest stars, Will Smith, is game for a potential Men in Black 5.
Gossip writer Daniel Richtman brings word that Will Smith is up for making a new Men in Black film, which is rumored to be in development. This is currently just a rumor so take it with a grain – or maybe even a heap – of salt. Still, it is certainly exciting to think about, even if we likely will not hear anything concrete for a while.
The Men in Black franchise is based on the comic book series of the same name, created and written by Lowell Cunningham and illustrated by Sandy Carruthers. The series was initially published by Canadian comics company Aircel Comics in 1990 before the California-based Malibu Comics, and eventually, Marvel bought them out. But the franchise became a household name when Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith starred in the first film, Men in Black, in 1997.
There is no word yet on whether or not Will Smith’s reported role will be a prominent one, but even a cameo of him in the film will be enough to generate headlines. The last time Will Smith appeared in the franchise was when Men in Black 3 hit theaters almost a decade ago in May 2012. Even though Men in Black: International featured Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, audiences missed what Will Smith brought to the franchises, making the series reboot a disappointment both critically and at the box-office.
Will Smith’s filmography spans decades. In addition to his role in the Men in Black franchise, he has also appeared in the Bad Boys films, I Am Legend, Netflix’s Bright, the 2019 remake of Disney’s Aladdin, and many others. On the television side of things, he is also known for his starring performance in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He has been nominated for an Oscar twice, one for his performance as famed boxer Muhammad Ali in Ali and the other for playing stockbroker Chris Gardner in 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness. Yet it was the combination of Independence Day and Men in Black in subsequent summers that made Will Smith a major movie star.
Will Smith will next be appearing in the biographical drama, King Richard. The film focuses on Richard Williams, father and coach of renowned tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. Most recently, Smith starred in last year’s Bad Boys for Life, and while theaters were closed for most of 2020, the film was the only film to make over $200 million at the box-office last year.
While this may still only be a rumor, it is certainly not outside the realm of possibility. We still know so little about the film or even if it’s actually happening. But Will Smith’s involvement in the franchise he helped popularize would almost certainly make the Men in Black series an exciting property once more.