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MEN IN BLACK II

About The Production
MIB stunned industry analysts in 1997 when it snuck up on audiences and outgrossed such predictable, surefire summer smashes as Lost World: Jurassic Park 2, and Batman and Robin.

Men in Black is back -

"Maybe we can sneak in under the radar again," director Barry Sonnenfeld proposes. "Isn't there another ‘Star Wars' coming out?"

Not only did Men in Black sneak in under the radar to become a huge movie hit, it introduced stylistic elements that quickly became dominant themes in fashion and entered the iconography of pop culture throughout the world.

"I always thought we were making a little buddy movie with a bunch of smoke and mirrors to make you think there was a science fiction element in it," says the director. "But it opened very well and, a week later, three other movies had newspaper ads with their actors wearing sunglasses. And Will's song was playing everywhere you went. So, it was kinda cool how, all of a sudden, it had pervaded society."

"We had taken our kids with us to the London opening of Men in Black and then we drove up to the north of England for a little vacation," recalls producer Walter F. Parkes. "A couple of days later we were sitting in this hole-in-the-wall pub, in the middle of nowhere, eating shepherd's pie and suddenly the (Men in Black) song comes over the radio. It was one of those moments when you just get this crystalline awareness of the enormous reach of a movie."

If the original MIB snuck up on audiences, its enormous success also came as something of a surprise to some of Sonnenfeld's own production team.

Sonnenfeld's first application of his unique directing sensibilities came on The Addams Family, based on the Charles Addams drawings in "The New Yorker" magazine. Two years later, on Addams Family Values, he successfully applied his unique sensibilities again... to something no longer so unique.

"Tommy and Will have reversed their rolls when the story begins. While Tommy's been gone, Will has become the top agent at MIB. After Tommy returns it creates a funny dynamic in which Will suddenly has to deal with his old teacher coming back into his life and treating him like a kid again. In that way, MIBII incorporates the strengths of its predecessor but takes a fresh approach," notes producer Laurie MacDonald.

At the end of the original Men in Black, audiences will recall Agent Kay being neuralized, a process by which all memory is erased, and retiring from MIB. However, the reunion of Kay and Jay, was always the most important element in anyone's vision of a sequel.

"We always knew that the first movie was going to end with Tommy's character being neuralized and if we were lucky enough to have a second one, it would somehow have to deal with bringing him back," explains Parkes. "Now, the problem was, how do you create a story that does that, and, as Barry continued to remind us, get Tommy back in quickly?"

"Like all the

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