Why Men in Black International flopped: Chris Hemsworth changed script, director threatened to quit
From director F Gary Gray threatening to quit over clashes with the producer, to Chris Hemsworth insisting on hiring his own writers to reword the script, here’s why Men in Black: International flopped.Updated: Jun 18, 2019 12:44 IST
Now that Men in Black: International has been released, the dust is starting to clear on its troubled production. A new report says that producer Walter Parkes frequently clashed with director F Gary Gray, who attempted to depart the project on several occasions.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Parkes, a longtime series producer and a confidante of Steven Spielberg’s, held final cut on the film, and demanded significant rewrites on the film. “New pages arrived daily for the actors, causing a certain amount of confusion, as well as stripping away what some considered the more modern sensibilities,” the report quotes a source as saying.
Original writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway were present on set, and the report quotes sources as saying that their script was well liked. “Early drafts of the script were described as being edgier and more timely, tying the story to the current debate surrounding immigration,” the report says, but Parkes’ rewrites took off a lot of the edge. At one point, stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth ‘hired their own dialogue writers’ to work with them on set.
“It wasn’t a Dark Phoenix situation,” the studio source said, making a reference to a similar situation on Fox’s X-Men film, which saw significant behind-the-scenes drama. But, ‘Gray tried to exit the production several times but was convinced to stay by the studio’.
Gray has previously delivered major hits such as Straight Outta Compton and The Fate of the Furious. The studio did not stand by him. “The studio was an absentee landlord. They were nowhere to be found,” one insider is quoted as saying.
Men in Black: International opened to the worst weekend figures of the series, and to the worst reviews. It holds a 24% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and has so far made $103 million against a $110 million budget. Previous entries, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, made a combined total of $1.6 billion.
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