Making Men In Black: International reportedly wasn't the smoothest operation. Sony insiders allege that the project had many problems going on behind-the-scenes. Director F. Gary Gray even tried to exit the project at one point, but was convinced to stay. The news drops as the reboot tanked at the box office, earning $28.5 million, which is less than the studio initially conservatively estimated. Men in Black: International now has the record for lowest opening in the franchise's history.
The original idea was to make the 21 Jump Street and MIB crossover movie, but a deal could not be reached, so the idea to reboot the franchise was floated. The original story had more of a current edge and dealt with immigration, which is why Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth originally signed on. "The script was good," says one anonymous Sony insider. The source continued by saying, "You don't attract Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson if the script isn't good." With that being said, the original script was tampered with almost on a daily basis, completely reworking it and causing a lot of confusion on the set.
Some of the trouble can be traced back to the exit of Sony producer David Beaubaire, who exited the studio and the project in summer 2018. He was never replaced and it reportedly caused a "tug-of-war" between F. Gary Gray and producer Walter Parkes. The two men apparently had two wildly different takes on how Men in Black: International should be handled. Parkes was calling for rewrites in pre-production and even had more as the movie was being shot. This did not sit well with Gray. One source claims rewrites were delivered to the actors on a daily basis.
Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth then reportedly hired their own dialogue writers after all of the rewrites. Sources say that as the production continued, Walter Parkes started to interfere with the directing, which was something else F. Gary Gray was not happy about. The director reportedly tried to leave Men in Black: International multiple times, only to later return. Arguments extended to things as trivial as color correction, according to sources. "Walter is both the arsonist and the fireman," states an insider.
Post-production on Men in Black: International was reportedly a lot smoother. But by this time, the studio did not seem to be as engaged with the reboot at all. Two cuts were made, one by F. Gary Gray and one by Walter Parkes, with the latter being the winner. Sources contend that Sony was nowhere to be found and one insider calls the studio "an absentee landlord." In the end, the reboot earned a 25% Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes and received poor reviews from critics and fans. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson deliver worthy performances, but the story has been called weak by numerous people. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to reveal the trouble behind-the-scenes on Men in Black: International.