Actor Liam Neeson is in negotiations to join actor Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Men in Black spin-off, Vareity.com reported. Filmmaker F. Gary Gray is directing the project, written by Iron Man screenwriters Matt Holloway and Art Marcum.
Hemsworth and Thompson are not playing the same alien-fighting and world-saving characters portrayed by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the initial film trilogy. The new movie is set in the same on-screen world, however. Plot details and the characters Hemsworth and Thompson will portray are being kept secret, but on the Neeson front, it is known that he will play the head of the Men in Black organization in London, where the story begins. Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who produced the original movies, are back as producers, while Steven Spielberg is returning as executive producer
The role would be a change of pace for the veteran star, who is known more for his tough-as-nails action roles in movies like the Taken franchise, Non-Stop, and, most recently, The Commuter. His most recent comedic role was as the villain in Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West.
Neeson can be seen next in Steve McQueen’s Widows. He is repped by CAA and Artists Rights Group.
The spin-off will hit the theatres on May 17, 2019. Sony had originally planned to combine the ‘Men and Black’ and ’21 Jump Street’ franchises, but have since shelved that idea.
Deadline had earlier reported that Sony studio is eyeing on other films too.
“The studio also is moving on multiple fronts with its Spider-Man universe, working simultaneously on a Phil Lord & Christopher Miller-scripted animated film for Christmas 2018, as well as the Ruben Fleischer-directed Tom Hardy-Michelle Williams starrer Venom to be released October 5, 2018, and Silver & Black, with Gina Prince-Bythewood directing the two female superheroes in the Spidey universe for February 8, 2019. There is also the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, with Jon Watts directing Tom Holland and the Zendaya-led ensemble. That will be released July 5, 2019,” the report read.