Aliens to storm Chinese cinemas in ‘Men in Black: International’
Bringing back the fun
Published: Jun 11, 2019 06:53 PM

Tessa Thompson Photo: IC

Tessa Thompson Top: Chris Hemsworth gives a fan his autograph at a press event in Beijing. Photos: IC

It has been seven years since Men in Black III hit theaters. This Friday the franchise continues with two new agents and a brand new director. 

"MIB [Men in Black] is always supposed to be fun," director F. Gary Gray, also known for his The Fate of the Furious (2017) and The Italian Job (2003), told the Global Times on Saturday. 

"That is there from the original, but I bring in some new elements." 

The first of these new elements are two new agents, H and M, and some new locations as they travel from New York to Paris to Morocco and on to Italy. 

"We made it from US focused to global, fighting with aliens and policing around the world," he said. 

"Of course, we also have a new cast."

The upcoming MIB: International stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as H and M. 

"Gary brings our ideas to a new level and pushes some huge opinions," Hemsworth told the Global Times, who is so well-known in China for his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that Chinese fans call him chuige, or Hammer Man.  

He described his first collaboration with Gray as "a pretty epic experience" with great visual effects, aliens and cool gadgets. 

First female lead 

As the first woman to play a leading role in the series, Thompson said she was "so excited that there were women inside the organization, but there's never been a woman to be at the forefront of any of these stories." 

"There are so many films that have sequels, reboots and reimaginings of a franchise. For me, you always want to have a really compelling reason to make these films. The truth is, 22 years ago, maybe it didn't make sense to have a woman at the forefront of one of these stories or just didn't have any. I think it is really exciting that there is this modern sensibility in addition to making this fun film with all the advances in technology," Thompson, who also starred aside Hemsworth in the MCU as the character Valkyrie, said. 

The actress, who also stars in HBO's series Westworld, said she was very excited and honored to take the lead in the MIB franchise. 

"A whole new generation of young women will get to see a woman in the suit, in the sunglasses. I'm really excited about that and so pleased to be a part of it. But I hope that we can get to a place inside these studios where it doesn't feel noteworthy to have a woman in the lead, where you can take it for granted… I think movies like this can really help us get there," she added. 

When asked what kind of alien he would be, the veteran director said: "An invisible alien, of course." 

Noting that this was his third trip to China and that he had visited the Great Wall and Palace Museum before, he explained that as someone who loves to travel and learn, being invisible would give him the chance to travel around and observe people without needing to worry about the MIB.