With Men in Black: International struggling to connect with audiences and critics alike, details about a troubled production from behind-the-scenes have begun to surface, painting a picture of just how big a hill the film had to climb before it even hit theaters.
New reports reveal that the soft reboot's original script was darker and more political than the final film's story, with allusions to the current immigration debate and stance on refugees that currently are major political talking points around the world. In addition to the differences in themes and tone, the original story featured a quartet of villains inspired by The Beatles, antagonists who had a musical background and could merge into a single being.
Other reports indicate director F. Gary Gray and producer Walter Parkes clashed frequently during production, leading to extensive rewrites and the cast occasionally receiving new dialogue the day of filming. To contend with the constant changes, stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson would hire their own dialogue writers to keep their characterizations consistent and to their respective approval.
According to unnamed sources, the post-production went relatively drama-free in comparison to preproduction and principal photography. The studio deemed extensive reshoots unnecessary and ultimately selected a cut overseen by Parkes instead of one by Gray for theatrical distribution. Judging by the lukewarm box office and critical reception, this may have not been for the best.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, Men in Black: International stars Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Laurent Bourgeois and Larry Bourgeois, with Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson.