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Prepare To Feel Old: The Original 'Men In Black' Turns 21 Today

Mike Wood

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Prepare To Feel Old: The Original 'Men In Black' Turns 21 Today

It seems like every day there is something new to make you feel old and today is no different: it's 21 years to the day since the release of Men in Black.

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In the intervening two decades and a bit, it's easy to forget just how big a film Men in Black was.

Will Smith, now something of an elder statesman in Hollywood, was just about the biggest movie star in the world.

He'd transitioned from a sitcom star in the late 80s and early 90s to a legitimate blockbuster talent: the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, his breakout hit, ran until 1992 but was still a regular on British TV, while he was on a run of films that began with Bad Boys, moved into Independence Day, then Men in Black, then Enemy of the State, Wild Wild West and finally culminated with an Oscar nomination for his performance as Muhammad Ali in 2001.

Credit: Columbia Pictures
Credit: Columbia Pictures

The other breakout star of the film was the creatures. Industrial Light & Magic, who had done effects for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, were well known, but their work on Men In Black was exemplary.

They were nominated for awards at the Oscars and the Baftas for make-up and special effects, while the abiding joy of film - and one of the main reasons that it remains so popular two decades on - is the comedy provided by the repertoire of wise-cracking aliens that Smith and Tommy Lee Jones had to contend with.

The two sequels were disappointments, but hope springs eternal in Hollywood: a fourth Men In Black film is in development and will feature a brand new cast and a new style, albeit rooted in the world of the original movies.

Rafe Spall and Kumail Nanjiani are said to be in lead roles, which already boasted Liam Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, making for a truly all-star cast.

Directing is F Gary Gray, who made Straight Outta Compton and The Fate of the Furious, so fans can be confident that the beloved franchise is in good hands.

The latest instalment is due to be released in June of 2019, so there is a bit of a wait yet, but if the cast and crew are anything to go by, it should be well worth it.

Featured Image Credit: Columbia

Topics: Film, Will Smith

Mike Wood
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