Whether you want to call it Men in Black 4 or a spin-off, Sony's next installment in the popular series is moving forward rather quickly. And is now reportedly set to start filming this summer. The Men in Black franchise has been reliable for Sony over the years, but following the release of Men in Black 3 in 2012, they've seemed a bit unsure of the direction to take it. Now, with a director and star seemingly in place, they're looking to get the franchise back on track and aim to have cameras rolling on the new installment this June.

We recently reported that Thor: Ragnarok star Chris Hemsworth is being eyed by Sony to lead this upcoming Men in Black spin-off. While his deal hasn't been finalized as of this writing (as far as we know), it looks like he's going to be one of the new faces of the franchise now. It's said that he'll be starring with another female MIB agent of color, along with an older man. This isn't going to be a full-on reboot either. This movie will take place in the same universe as the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones trilogy, but will focus on new characters and expand the universe. Similar to what Jurassic World did for the Jurassic Park franchise.

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This Men in Black spin-off will reportedly be shooting in the U.K., with London being eyed as a location and possibly Berlin, Germany. F. Gary Grey, known for his work on Straight Outta Compton and The Fate of the Furious, has been tapped to helm the movie for Sony. There's no word on who may join Hemsworth in these surrounding roles, but it sounds like this movie is finally coming together behind the scenes after some failed starts in the past.

At one point, Sony was looking at doing a Men in Black and 21 Jump Street crossover movie. This wasn't just a crazy idea that was floated around for a minute, mind you. It was in active development and both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill were supposed to star. It was even going under the title MIB 23 and, whether or not it was ever completed, a script was being written. That certainly would have been the more bold and interesting direction to take the Men in Black franchise, but it was also much riskier. While a soft reboot of sorts may not be as unique, it certainly is much more safe, from Sony's perspective. Maybe if this works they could eventually revisit the 21 Jump Street crossover idea in the future.

Starting in 1997, the Men in Black movies have been reliable hits over the years, with the trilogy bringing in a total of $1.65 billion worldwide. Subsequent entries failed to live up to the original, but audiences still turned out to see them. With a star like Chris Hemsworth on board, now could be the perfect time to reintroduce the secret government agency dedicated to handling alien affairs on Earth to the masses. The untitled Men in Black movie is set to arrive in theaters on June 14, 2019. This news comes to us courtesy of Omega Underground.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott