MEN IN BLACK: Expanding The Universe
We have Men In Black: International coming to theaters this summer, with Thor: Ragnarok costars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth (who might be joining back up for a Thor 4). The Men In Black franchise has been carried for three movies by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but this new movie has producer Walter Parkes and the studio thinking more long term, and bigger picture than the U.S. or London based branches of the suit wearing agents we’ve seen so far. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Parkes touched on expanding the long running franchise, including implications in the script for the new movie.
“We imply that we have [headquarters in] other places and in prior drafts of the script we did [see them]. But in terms of effective storytelling, we just didn’t find a way to come about that. But, if the film’s successful, we’ll certainly be going to new headquarters throughout the world.”
The studio could definitely take that direction and run with it any way you want. They could even follow MFR’s take he shared on The Revengers episode 49, where he said studios could expand upon beloved franchises and move them into the TV realm if they wanted a continuation, and not a reboot. By expanding the agency into as of yet unexplored realms, Men In Black has endless potential, creatively, action wise, location wise. Men In Black International benefits from today’s franchise storytelling, making moves, building cohesion the first three movies couldn’t really achieve in their day and age according to Parkes.
“What you say about the expansion of the cinematic universe is absolutely true. I think that’s one of the most exciting things about the last 15 years that these big [franchises] exist. And what excites me is that it’s expansion — not so much in other movies, but in other media. You know, there’s digital expressions of this, and VR expressions of this… So I think you can build out the universe, even around this movie. And I think that’s very much what modern franchises do.”
He’s very right about how franchises are building nowadays. My favorite universe, Star Wars, is constantly expanding- with books, video games like Jedi: Fallen Order, TV shows, audio dramas, even a park with Galaxy’s Edge (yes the park is part of Star Wars canon). If you can attach yourself (your intellectual property rather) to enough forms of media, enough forms of entertainment, eventually you’ll capture the entire audience. Men In Black video games, or a book would be something I would be interested in!
What about you? What form of media would you like to see the Men In Black franchise move to next? Let us know in the comments below!