F. Gary Gray is currently in negotiations to direct the new Men in Black film slated for a 2019 release, according to Deadline. The movie will be the first in the franchise's relaunch by Sony and Amblin.
The companies are moving toward a deal with Gray, who is riding the high of two very successful recent films. Gray directed Straight Outta Compton and The Fate Of The Furious, which was 2017’s third highest grossing film. It made a whopping $1.2 billion off of a $250 million budget.
Sony just successfully revived the Jumanji franchise, and is now looking at a June 14, 2019 release date for the new Men in Black. Steven Spielberg will be executive producing, and the movie’s original producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are returning. Iron Man screenwriters Matt Holloway and Art Marcum are behind the new Men in Black script.
The new films will stick to the same premise of the originals: the story of a secret task force with the duty of policing a hidden alien population. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith ran their course with the series in 2012 after the original’s third film, so it’s unclear who will be replacing the iconic duo and what new story will unfold. Jones and Smith are not expected to return at all in the upcoming films.
It’s no wonder why Sony and Amblin are bidding for Gray to be the film’s director, since the story will be a healthy mix of comedy and action, both of which Gray has proven to be successful with. He also directed Friday, Set If Off, The Negotiator, Law Abiding Citizen and The Italian Job.