“Thor: Ragnarok” breakout Tessa Thompson has joined the cast of the “Men in Black” spinoff, an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.
F. Gary Gray is directing from a script by “Iron Man” writers Matt Holloway and Art Marcum. Chris Hemsworth is still in talks to join the spinoff.
The film is slated for release on June 14, 2019.
The new movie will not see Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith return to play Agents J and K, instead the ensemble piece focuses on the secretive New York agency that defends Earth from hostile aliens and helps friendly ones blend into human society. The spinoff is being compared to “Jurassic World” in that it will take the series in a newer, bigger direction while giving a nod to the previous films and characters in the series.
“Men In Black” was one of the biggest hit films of the ’90s, cementing Smith’s status as one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors following his monster hits “Independence Day” and “Bad Boys.” Combined, the three “MiB” films have grossed over $1.7 billion worldwide.
Gray himself has also directed big box office hits recently, with “Straight Outta Compton” earning critical acclaim and $201 million in 2015 and “Fate of the Furious” becoming the third highest grossing film of 2017 with $1.23 billion worldwide.
Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing, with Steven Spielberg as executive producer. Art Marcum and Matt Holloway penned the script, with David Beaubaire overseeing for Sony.
Thompson is represented by Michael Greene, Mosaic and attorney Jeffrey Bernstein.
The actress is currently shooting “Creed II.” She stars in the film “Sorry to Bother You” this summer and has a prominent role in the second season of “Westworld,” which launches this spring. She is also starring in and producing the film “Doris Payne.”
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.