'Men in Black' is back and upgraded

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, June 13, 2019
Adjust font size:
F. Gary Gray, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson beat Chinese drums at the Chinese premiere of "Men in Black: International" held in Beijing, June 9, 2019. [Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

The director of science-fiction action comedy "Men in Black: International" tells China.org.cn that he's taking the franchise to the next level, while in Beijing to promote the film.

"It's always a challenge when you join an existing franchise," director F. Gary Gray said, who also directed blockbusters such as "The Fate of the Furious." When he took over "The Fast and the Furious" franchise, there had already been seven movies. But having managed to make one of the most successful in the franchise, grossing $1.24 billion in 2018, he added that he's "got used to what the challenge would be."

"I love the challenge," he said. "I was really fortunate to work with, because I was able to surround my cast with all types of action, gadgets and things you would expect in a movie of this size. But when it all boils down to the chemistry, that's something that I couldn't ask for, but they had to create. I think it all boils down to the characters and how they interact with each other. I think they really delivered and took this film to the next level."

Unlike "The Fate of the Furious," which maintained the stellar cast from previous installments, "Men In Black: International" will not feature its most popular agent duo J and K, played by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones respectively.

Gray insisted that the film has a global outlook. "I like to offer what's really different about this," director Gray said, "In this film we fight aliens around the globe. We spent a lot of time in Africa, the U.K., Italy and France. A lot of movies like this will do visual effects primarily against a green screen. But that's not real enough. We actually took our cast and our crew, and jumped on a plane and went to all these beautiful exotic places."

This time the two stars are H and M, respectively played by Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, who worked in London branch for the Men in Black (MIB). It is not the first team-up for Thompson and Hemsworth, who have worked previously as Valkyrie and Thor in "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017) and "Avengers: Endgame" (2019). 

"I'm so lucky to landed in this universe," Tessa Thompson said as she was interviewed in Beijing to promote the new film. "Obviously there's always been women inside the organization in these movies, for example, Emma Thompson reprising her role from the previous films in the franchise. But there's never been a woman at the forefront of one of these narratives and I think it's really exciting. I feel so elated that a whole generation of young women and young boys will see a woman wear the suit and have sunglasses."

A Chinese poster of "Men in Black: International" [Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

Chris Hemsworth also noted that the director had done wonderfully to please the original fans of the MIB franchise, while taking the film to the next level with adventure and various gadgets and weaponry. "The idea of this was unlike anything I'd seen before, " he said.

"And the technology is insane: such as futuristic weapons in a classic car," the director added. "It's fun to watch the transforming vehicles. I would say there's some similarities, but we take it to the next level."

Gray, Hemsworth and Thompson were in Beijing from June 7-9 to promote the film while being cheered by hundreds of Chinese fans. The previous three films, loosely adapted from "The Men in Black" comic book series created by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, made $1.65 billion in total. The last installment of the original trilogy starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, was released seven years ago, and made 503 million yuan ($77.24 million) in China, while grossing over $624 million worldwide.

"Men In Black: International" will hit Chinese theaters on June 14, 2019.

1   2   3   4   5   >  

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter