Will Smith Reboots ‘Men in Black’ With New Star

in Movies

Josh Brolin and Will Smith having a serious conversation in front of an open car hood at night, with one man appearing older with dark hair and the other younger with a fresh haircut.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Will Smith is reviving the long-dormant Men in Black franchise, and he’s brought in an unexpected star to help him do so.

men-in-black
Credit: Columbia Pictures

The 1990s were undeniably a great time for Will Smith. Six seasons of the hugely popular NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had primed him to emerge as a movie star, and Hollywood quickly obliged.

After supporting roles in several little-remembered films, he hit the big time with Bad Boys (1995), the Michael Bay-Jerry Bruckheimer action film that turned him and Martin Lawrence into leading men. If he had only stuck with the Bad Boys franchise, Smith likely would have been one of the biggest action movie draws of the decade, but he quickly expanded his franchise collection.

Movie 'Bad Boys 4' and Will Smith Replacement
Credit: Inside the Magic

The following year, Will Smith starred as (arguably) the lead of the ensemble cast of Independence Day (1996), the alien invasion disaster film from Roland Emmerich that ended up grossing a staggering $817 million. And then, perhaps most significantly for his career, he starred in Men in Black (1997), which would kick off one of the most iconic film franchises of the next 20 years.

Related: Will Smith Makes Disney Comeback With $842 Million Franchise

Will Smith wearing sunglasses stands inside a room with a large spherical structure in the background.
Credit: Sony Pictures

Men in Black starred Will Smith as James Darrell Edwards III, a New York City police officer who is recruited by Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) to the mysterious MIB organization, which monitors and regulates extraterrestrial life forms and threats on planet Earth.

The film, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, grossed $589 million and was followed by two sequels (one featuring Josh Brolin as a replacement for Jones), a spinoff film starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, an animated children’s television series, multiple video games, a whole universe of MIB merchandise, and, perhaps most iconically, a music video.

In 1997, Will Smith was as known for being a mega-popular rapper as he was a film and television star. It made perfect sense for him to record a hit single to soundtrack his films, as he did later with Wild Wild West (1999) and much, much later, with the Disney live-action remake of Aladdin (2019).

Will Smith as the Genie in live-action 'Aladdin'
Credit: Disney

Now, it seems that Will Smith is ready to remind people of Men in Black and may be hinting at a new revival of the franchise. At this year’s Coachella Music Festival, Will Smith made a surprise appearance alongside Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin to perform “Men in Black.” Flanked by dancers dressed as aliens, Will Smith performed his song while Balvin, seemingly acting out a role in a sketch, was dragged away and had his memories erased. Should we expect an appearance from the singer in MIB4?

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This is one of Will Smith’s most notable appearances since the notorious 2022 incident when he slapped comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards. Since then, Smith has dealt with an enormous backlash. Several of his upcoming film projects have been canceled or shelved, and the film star has been pretty much keeping to himself. However, this new musical appearance seems to indicate that Smith may be ready to return to the spotlight and, more importantly, he may bring Agent J back with him.

Do you think Will Smith should reboot the Men in Black franchise? Tell us your conspiracy theories in the comments below!

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