It’s been over 20 years since Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones starred in the original Men in Black but the franchise is still going, with Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson leading an upcoming spinoff film.
Little is known about the new film other than that it will trade the previous installments’ New York City setting for more global locales, but Hemsworth has teased a bit of what we can expect with a new photo from the set.
Hemsworth tweeted the following picture showing himself and co-star Tessa Thompson in costume as the titular agents:
— Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) September 20, 2018
In addition to Hemsworth and Thompson, the Men in Black spinoff will feature other big name talent, including Liam Neeson (Taken) and Rafe Spall (Black Mirror).
The new film is set to release on June 14th, 2019.
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Speaking of Men in Black, did you know that the original film was inspired by a comic book series from Marvel Comics? Here are a few other movies you may not have realized have comic book origins:
10 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Based On Comic Books
Did you know that this year’s blockbuster film Kingsman: The Secret Service was based on a comic book? If not, you’re not alone. Most moviegoers assumed that Kingsman was a James Bond knock off for a younger audience. But it was, in actual fact, based on a comic book published by Icon Comics. This is a growing trend as an increasing number of movies and television shows are based on comic books. From films such as Kick Ass to TV programs such as The Walking Dead, it is becoming harder to tell exactly what content is coming from the world of comics. Here are 10 movies you (probably) didn’t know were based on comic books.
10. The Mask (1994)
The 1994 movie The Mask was more than a vehicle to showcase the rubber face of funny man Jim Carrey. The Mask was actually a cult comic book from publisher Dark Horse Comics, and the movie was an attempt to bring the visual style and flair of the comic book to life on the big screen. However, the comic book was much darker in tone and content. Producers of the movie decided to use Jim Carrey’s natural talents to make the film version more of a comedy. The results speak for themselves as The Mask succeeded in launching Jim Carrey into superstar status and also introduced the world to a young actress named Cameron Diaz.
9. Red (2010)
This 2010 movie about an aging group of CIA operatives who are targeted for extermination stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren in a very effective action-comedy film. And the premise and story come from a three issue comic book miniseries published by Wildstorm. The main difference between the comic book and movie is that the comic focuses on a lone CIA agent named Paul Moses who is hunted by his former employer. The movie turned the premise into a group of former CIA operatives so as to make the film an ensemble piece. Still, the results in the movie are hilarious as the veteran actors clearly enjoy chewing the scenery and shooting off their guns – especially John Malkovich.
8. A History of Violence (2005)
Canadian director David Cronenberg received some of the best reviews of his career for this 2005 movie about a small town restaurant owner whose past as a mafia hitman is inadvertently brought to light following an untimely shooting. Starring Viggo Mortensen and William Hurt in an Oscar nominated performance, A History of Violence also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, and that screenplay was adapted from a graphic novel of the same name by John Wagner and Vince Locke. The graphic novel was highly praised when released in 1997, and the film version stays faithful to its tone and style. In fact, the shooting scene at the start of the film is virtually identical to what takes place in the comic book, making this movie a very faithful adaptation.
7. Road to Perdition (2002)
This heavy drama about a hitman forced to protect his son from his mafia boss employer after the son witnesses a murder stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law in one of his earliest roles. Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Road to Perdition was a critical favourite when released in 2002 and was the last movie for which Paul Newman was nominated for an Oscar (as Best Supporting Actor). And this movie certainly doesn’t seem like the content came from a comic book. Yet Road to Perdition is based on a comic books series published by Paradox Press, a division of D.C. Comics. And this is not a one-off graphic novel either, but a full-fledged comic book series about honorable mafia hitman Michael O’Sullivan and his exploits during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Who would have guessed?
6. From Hell (2001)
The movie From Hell is about the attempts of a drug addicted police inspector to solve the Jack the Ripper murders in Victorian England. It’s an effective thriller and did well at the box office when released in 2001. And From Hell is based on a graphic novel by legendary comic book writer Alan Moore, who previously wrote both Watchmen and Batman: The Killing Joke. Alan Moore has a profound dislike for movies based on his comic books, and he refused to participate in the making of From Hell. Nevertheless, the film version remained true to the comic’s story, tone and murky atmosphere. The movie is also helped by a strong performance from actor Johnny Depp in the lead role and heather Graham as a Victorian prostitute. There is also solid direction by the Hughes Brothers – Allen and Albert.
5. The Crow (1994)
The 1994 movie The Crow is best remembered for the accidental and tragic death of actor Brandon Lee, who was the then up-and-coming son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Lee was accidentally killed on the film’s set when he was hit by a defective blank from a stunt gun. Now a cult favourite, The Crow received much critical praise when released and its unique visual style continues to win new fans to this day. And The Crow, unbeknownst to many people, is based on a series from Image Comics. Created by American artist James O’Barr in 1989, The Crow was ranked #37 on the Imagine Games Network’s (IGN) 2011 list of the Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time. Indeed, the character has proven popular enough to appear in a television show, novels and several sequels to the original film based on the comic book.
4. Mystery Men (1999)
This weird and quirky movie about a group of inept amateur superheroes predates the current superhero movie craze by a few years. Yet it is a fun and engaging movie starring comedic actors Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo and Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman) as would be super heroes who have unique traits – one of them farts a lot and another throws spoons at people. And Mystery Men comes from the mind of cartoonist Bob Burden, who created the Mystery Men characters as part of his comic book series The Flaming Carrot, which has been published by both Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics. It is the movie that really fleshes out the Mystery Men and their story. They were always secondary characters in the Flaming Carrot comic book series. The Mystery Men made for an interesting film. Not interesting enough to warrant a sequel, but not bad.
3. Oblivion (2013)
This recent sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise is distinguished by some truly awesome special effects. About a man left behind on a barren Earth to extract what’s left of its natural resources only to discover something truly shocking about himself and his assignment, Oblivion is based on a comic book produced by Radical Publishing. And, like the movie, the comic book features some stunning visuals and images. Much of the movie’s look and feel were lifted directly from the comic book, which contains super impressive art work and colouring. And, at the end of the day, it is the movie’s visual elements that standout and are memorable. The plot is rather complicated and not easily decipherable. But audiences are willing to look past that fact and simply admire the stunning special effects and scenery.
2. Wanted (2008)
The movie Wanted, starring actor James McAvoy as a ho-hum office worker who is recruited to be an assassin by a sexy secret agent played by actress Angelina Jolie, is a decent action movie that is known for its high octane chase scenes and a number of shoot outs featuring curving bullets. But this movie is based on a comic book written by Mark Millar, the man behind both Kick Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service. However, fans of the comic book were disappointed by the movie, which was not as faithful to the original source material as they would have liked. In the comic book, there are more allusions to super heroes that were wiped out by super villains. The movie changed the story to focus more on the attempts to recruit the James McAvoy character into the assassin ranks and less on the bigger story about superheroes, the protagonist’s family, and the need to protect humans from evil threats. Still, the curving bullets in the movie are pretty cool.
1. Men in Black (1997)
The action comedy film Men in Black, and its two sequels, are based on a comic book series originally published by Aircel Comics and later Marvel Comics. The Men in Black, who secretly protect Earth from aliens bent on invading or infiltrating our planet, was a modest hit as a comic book. But it turned into a blockbuster film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring actors Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in the title roles. Following the movie’s success, Marvel Comics collected all of the Men in Black issues into a trade paperback graphic novel that has sold reasonably well. Marvel also has published several one off issues of Men in Black over the years. The tone in the comics is more serious and less light hearted and comedic than the movies. But when you have Will Smith as the film’s lead, you can only be so serious, right?