The veteran star will reportedly appear alongside Thor: Ragnarok's Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in an update of the beloved franchise based on the comics by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers.
The report indicates that Neeson would be playing the head of the UK branch of the Men in Black. In the original series, Rip Torn played the American agency head.
The Men in Black are a top-secret organization of suit-wearing men and women in sunglasses who appear when there is alien activity, clean up the mess, and wipe everyday people's memories of the events. The original film franchise starred Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith.
Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed Men in Black and will likely serve as an executive producer on the reboot, expanded on the world in a pair of sequels, 2002's Men in Black II and 2012's Men in Black 3. By the time the third movie came around, Jones had scaled his acting work way back and primarily took a backseat to Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 star Josh Brolin, who played a younger version of Jones's character in the time-traveling story.
The comics, which have a decidedly darker tone, first appeared in 1990 from Aircel Comics, which was ultimately acquired by Malibu. As with nearly all of the Malibu properties, the rights situation is confusing, but Marvel Comics did produce a number of comic book tie-ins to Men in Black when the original movie debuted in 1997.
The film also spawned a merchandising motherlode including toys, video games, and an animated series. An amusement park attraction based on the franchise, Men in Black: Aliens Attack, was built in 2000, ironically in the spot where a studio tour used to take fans through the sets of another obscure comic book adaptation, the short-lived Swamp Thing TV series.
F. Gary Gray of Straight Outta Compton and Fate of the Furious fame is slated to direct the film, which is not connected to the previously-rumored Men in Black/21 Jump Street crossover. The movie is planned to hit theaters in May of next year.4comments