Merry-Go-Round Of 'Men In Black 3' Writers Now Includes A Mystery Man

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 31, 2011 5:54 AM
4 Comments
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The story behind the saga of getting "Men In Black 3" to the big screen is now likely to be far more entertaining than the actual movie.

Just to recap: Last month, production on the film—which had already slotted in a break in filming of a couple of months—was delayed further as Jeff Nathanson (“Catch Me If You Can” and “Rush Hour 2”) was hired to give yet another polish to the script. That’s right, polishing a script to a film that they are in the midst of shooting. Etan Cohen of “Tropic Thunder” wrote the original draft of the script, David Koepp (”Panic Room,” “Spider-Man”) gave it a second touch-up and Nathanson did the third pass. Then, David Koepp was hired back to give the script another tweaking. Well, the studio says production on the film is now back on but that hasn't stopped more writers putting their hands in the pot as THR reveals that another scribe has apparently been doing work on the script without anyone else being informed.

Mike Soccio may not be as well known as Steve Zaillian or Aaron Sorkin, and his IMDB page might be fairly bland, but he's been the pen that has made Will Smith into an international star. He's been writing for him since the "Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" days and while it's no secret that comic actors have a retinue of talent they hire on to tweak scripts more to their comic stylings, Smith has apparently never been too eager to acknowledge he does the same fairly routine Hollywood practice. So that's why it's coming as a surprise to some that in addition to the ridiculous number of writers who have already tried their hand at the script, Soccio has been writing pages as well on Sony's dime.

Sony says Soccio "is a long-time and well-known collaborator on Will's projects" and that "was hired for minor on-set punch-up work during our initial production period while Etan was not on location" during the first phase of filming last year. And while it's debatable just how "known" Soccio (we never heard of the guy), according to THR's sources, Soccio has had a bigger hand in the film than what the official studio line is, and we'd believe it.

The main problem with "Men In Black 3" is that it started shooting without a script that was approved by Smith. The plan was to shoot the present day sequences last year (which they did), take a hiatus to nail down the script, and then regroup to do all the time travel stuff. But obviously, the script still needed much more work than anyone involved anticipated, and if Sony want to get it to place that will make Smith happy, we're sure they're looking the other way as Soccio tries his hand to adapt the screenplay into a shape that will make their star pleased.

And that's not even the tip of the iceberg for the film's woes. Earlier this month it was reported that producer Walter Parkes and director Barry Sonnenfeld were clashing, while Koepp (who pocketed an amazing $250,000/week for his work on the film) would only come back on if he didn't have to talk to Parkes. Add to that, a budget that is now soaring north of $200 million and this could be the new "Cleopatra" (all it'll take is an affair to happen to behind the scenes between Smith and Tommy Lee Jones).

In some way, shape, or form, "Men In Black 3" will hit theaters on May 25, 2012.

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More: Films, Men In Black 3

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4 Comments

  • Colloidal Snake | April 2, 2011 8:00 AMReply

    @Kathleen Walsh - give you a break? Read your articles a few times over before publishing them. I know that will be read as unnecessarily harsh but there wouldn't be a need for someone to point out things like that if it seemed at all like you guys were giving your own writing (at least) two reads before submitting them.

    Everyone makes mistakes and all, sure. But this isn't some 12-year old's personal blog or anything of the sort.

    @Aubrey Titmuss - that song was horrible compared to the single they shoved down our throats with the first film. I kind of wished Smith would realize he can be a semi-serious actor or a rapper, but not both.

  • Kathleen Walsh | March 31, 2011 7:46 AMReply

    @Guh, I notice you like to copy edit our posts for us in the comments. Our copy editing team could always use extra help. We try to get to all of the mistakes as quickly as possible, but we are usually working at our day jobs too, in fact, I was editing this as you posted your comment. So please either give us a break, OR, even better, if you'd like to join the team, please email our EIC or me at kathleentaviswalsh@gmail.com

  • Guh | March 31, 2011 7:42 AMReply

    *Come

    *some way, shape, or form

  • Aubrey Titmuss | March 31, 2011 6:49 AMReply

    I hope the Men in Black briefly travel to Pandora in this film and visit the Na'vi. I can't wait to hear Will Smith's single this time! I love singing 'Men In Black' and 'Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)' on karaoke night!

    Here come the Men in Black (Men in Blaaaaack)
    Galaxy defenders (oahhaooohh ohhhhh)
    Here come the Men in Black (Men in Blaaaaack)
    They won't let you remember


    Nod ya head {The black suits comin'}
    Let me see you nod ya head like this {The black suits comin'}
    Let me see you (Nod ya head) like this {The black suits comin'}
    Let me see you bop ya head, nod ya head, come on

    (Nod ya head) {The black suits comin'}
    Let me see you (Nod ya head) like this {The black suits comin'}
    Let me see you nod ya head like this {The black suits comin'}
    (Nod ya head...head...head...)

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