'Men in Black III' Will End Setting Up a Reboot

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Sony Pictures

There are few things that can kill a franchise, even audience apathy. And so even if a film has a famously troubled production history and is coming ten years after the last film, if it's a franchise there must be some way to keep making sequels even if none of the stars return. And though 'Men in Black III' may be Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones's last time in the 'Black' universe Barry Sonnenffeld has confirmed that the film sets up a possible reboot.

MTV talked to the director (and Slashfilm noticed this), and the money quote is such:

The fantastic thing about "Men in Black 3" is that it totally closes out the trilogy, it answers questions that you didn't even know you should be asking, it leaves you emotionally warm and sad and happy, and it could also reboot the franchise.

Sonnenfeld also explains that the hiatus the film took was because they wanted to shoot in New York, but weren't sure if the state would continue to offer a tax rebate. He also offers a good answer (and dodge) on the film's problems by saying that for a director, every film is problematic.

It's hard to know what to make of the possibility of more at this point - audiences haven't seen the film, and it feels like a risky picture. Will Smith has been absent from the big screen since 2008's 'Seven Pounds' and no longer seems bulletproof, and this film - which is a relaunch of a decade-dormant series - feels a little desperate. They're going back to a well that worked once, but the previous sequel was not warmly received (it too was made under duress, as it was a strike picture).

But making sure you can keep making sequels isn't a knock against this film. Any movie that costs over a certain amount (that isn't 'Inception') always wants to leave the door open for more. It's smart for Sonnenfeld and company to close off this version of these characters - or perhaps eliminate the need for one of the leads if they go for another spin.

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