The oft delayed production of the third entry in the popular Men in Black franchise is about to begin filming, but the shooting schedule has just taken an unusual turn. Production on the film is set to begin tomorrow, but the cast and crew will take a two-month hiatus when they wrap for the holidays. The LA Times reports that the plan for the 3D film is to shoot through Christmas week, and then shut down production until mid-February. The project seemed to be rolling right along, with copious amounts of casting news/rumors in the past few weeks, but it appears that there are a few problems behind the scenes.
Apparently screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me if You Can) is being brought in to work on a new draft of the script, previously written by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder). Specifically, scenes surrounding the time-travel aspect of the film involving a young Agent Kay being played by Josh Brolin, are said to have some issues. For much more on the hiatus, hit the jump.
Of course, producers involved with the film refute that there are script issues, and state that instead they’ve scheduled a hiatus to take advantage of New York tax incentives and to film scenes in warmer weather. Walter Parkes claims that they must begin filming before 2010 ends to benefit from the tax incentives, and picking up in February allows them to film some needed scenes in the warmer spring climate.
Apparently, Director Barry Sonnenfeld will shoot the majority of the present day scenes in the next month, while Nathanson punches up the problematic 1969-set scenes. When they pick back up in February, with the script issues hopefully resolved, they will move onto the scenes involving the past.
All this is a bit surprising, as earlier this year Brolin told Steve that the story Sonnenfeld and everyone behind the film had in mind was exactly what convinced him to agree to do the project. This may mean that there are simply logistical issues with the time-travel element in the movie. Nevertheless, I guess it’s good that they’re taking the time to rectify what they see as shortcomings with the film.
The plot reportedly involves the villain, played by Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement, traveling back in time to assassinate Agent Kay, which sets off a chain of events the ends in the destruction of the world. Brolin will be playing the younger Kay, and Tommy Lee Jones is also involved with the film in some capacity. Men in Black II wasn’t a terrible flick, but I felt it lacked a good deal of the magic and spunk from the first film. Let’s hope the third entry is as entertaining as the cast suggests. Men in Black III will be released in 3D on May 25th 2012.