Men in Black is now 25 years old, which is difficult to comprehend. Will Smith’s next film, Men in Black, came out following Independence Day and cemented the Fourth of July as Big Willie Weekend. It wasn’t an accident. And it’s all owing to filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld’s wife, who acknowledges that she chose the former Fresh Prince.
A special 25th anniversary DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD version of Men in Black is now available. If you have 4K, the alien invasion of New York looks amazing and those black suits have never looked better, no pun intended. In a brand-new interview, Sonnenfeld also discusses how his wife affected the casting.
Barry Sonnenfeld’s wife seen Will Smith on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” as he directed “Men in Black.”
Men in Black, which Sonnenfeld claims took five years to produce, is based on the comic book. Sonenfeld recalled that Smith’s NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was all his wife watched when he initially received the screenplay in 1992. Steven Spielberg, the executive producer, had other plans, but Mrs. Sonnenfeld prevailed.
Sonnenfeld claimed, “My wife told me I wanted Will Smith the first night I read the script, five years before we started making the movie. She loved Fresh Prince a much. I had never watched it, but you try to obtain Will Smith when your wife requests him.
Will Smith enhanced “Men in Black’s” humor.
Smith portrays J, a recent addition to the Men in Black, an organization that goes undercover to catch aliens. After J runs after an extraterrestrial through the streets, veteran agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) hires J. J and K are an odd couple that makes for comic gold, much like 48 Hours, Lethal Weapon, and Rush Hour.
Sonnenfeld remarked, “What’s interesting is like any excellent comedic duos, you need a straight man and a funny man. Ricky Ricardo and Lucille Ball are essential. Two humorous guys are not what you want in your movie. Tommy is such a straight shooter in Men in Black, and Will is such a humorous guy.
Sonnenfeld acknowledged that Smith added more improvised humor to the Men in Black sequences. He named two significant improvs. It just be raining Black people in New York, J declares to the passengers as he boards a double-decker bus. Hey, old men,” he exclaims later when he has to grab K and Zed (Rip Tornattention )’s within the Men in Black headquarters.
Tommy Lee Jones made an effort to be humorous.
Sonnenfeld claimed that Jones found it difficult to play the straight man. Until he saw the finished product, Jones resisted the deadpan. Then, according to Sonnenfeld, Jones understood he was correct. He nevertheless continued to add his own sound effects despite it.
Sonnenfeld remarked that Tommy was the eldest 8-year-old he had ever met. “Tommy would unintentionally make the sound of the gun because our weapons were space weapons and didn’t produce any noise. Tommy would thus exclaim “Pew” after each shot. Tommy, stop making [the noise]. I did not. Yes, Tommy, you made the sound again, remarked Will. Tommy would therefore constantly make gun noises while we were shooting.