Could it be that upcoming threequel Men in Black III was shooting without a script? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, this seems to be the case.
It appears that the film's much-discussed drama surrounding the time-travel oriented script has created a lot more behind-the-scenes drama than was previously thought. It's been known for some time that filming commenced late last year, and before the production took a hiatus just before the Holidays, the entire first act of the film taking place in the "present day" had been completed. -- Yet, they've been on that hiatus ever since while attempts have been made to polish the script.
As it turns out, the shooting done last year, ordered to the dismay of director Barry Sonnenfeld, was hastily done to qualify for a tax break from the state of New York, which saved the production about $35 million. That's all well and good, but it turns out, that the prospect of tax breaks led one of the biggest franchise movies out there to work with barely 1/3 of a script! So, where does that leave things now?
The issues started when the original script by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Idiocracy) had hit some major snags regarding the intricacies involved with a time travel storyline. Scribe Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me if You Can, Rush Hour 2 & 3) was brought on board to essentially place some expository band-aids on the script to allow the late 2010 shooting to finish. As of now, director Barry Sonnenfeld has been working closely on getting things worked out with prominent screenwriter David Koepp (Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible, Angels and Demons) to fix what is apparently a mess of a story. However, even if the script manages to emerge from that crucible, it must still meet with the approval of star Will Smith, who, in puling his weight, has insisted on having creative input. (And I would too, if I my name was attached to the film and my face was on millions of dollars of potential merchandise.)
Besides the script, it seems that the long hiatus has reignited tensions between director Barry Sonnenfeld and producer Walter Parkes, whose creative disagreements have been the stuff of legend on the previous MIB films. It all adds up to a disorganized mess of a production, which is currently slated to hit theaters in just over a year on May 25, 2012. In the meantime, the already-extended "Holiday" hiatus has been extended again to March 28, as Sony Pictures hemorrhages the money it saved on tax breaks to continue paying the cast and crew to sit at home. At this point, the film's production budget will easily push past $200 million. (Barring any more drama that may rise.)
Even if the 2002 sequel didn't quite match the box-office dominance of the first film, the Men in Black series has always served as solid crowd-pleasers. So, hopefully, with all this Hollywood political minutia at play, what we get to see in theaters next year won't be a laughable, disjointed mess. (Although, a laughable, disjointed mess in 3D might still make money.)
Do you have any expectations for Men in Black III, knowing all of these details?
Soure: The Hollywood Reporter