Here Come ‘Men in Black 4′: Sequel Officially in Development at Sony

Bryan Enk
Movie Talk

The Earth is apparently still in need of protection from the scum of the universe as Sony Pictures has hired a screenwriter to pen "Men in Black 4," the follow-up to last summer's sci-fi comedy hit.

Sony has brought on one of its new favorite scribes, Oren Uziel, to write the fourth installment of the highly lucrative franchise, which will continue the adventures of (presumably) Agent J (Will Smith) and K (either Tommy Lee Jones or Josh Brolin, depending on what time period you happen to be in). Actually, the details of the project are vague at best, as it's unknown if either Smith or Jones will actually be returning, and Brolin and "MiB3" star Emma Thompson currently don't have deals to reprise their roles.

Sony is no doubt cashing in on the success of 2012's "Men in Black 3," which scored a worldwide box office gross of over $624 million -- a series best after the $441 million take of 2002's "Men in Black II" and the $589 million take of 1997's "Men in Black." However, a "Men in Black" film is never an easy -- or inexpensive -- project to take on, as there are extensive backend participation deals with Smith, director Barry Sonnenfeld and executive producer Steven Spielberg.

Oren Uziel will take on writing duties on "Men in Black 4" after he finishes his polish job on the script for "21 Jump Street 2," which was originally written by Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall. Sony's keeping the plot details undercover but presumably we'll be seeing Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) on some college-based assignment rather than high school this time around. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are back as directors and Sony has already set a release date of June 6, 2014.

Sony is also currently developing Uziel's monster mash-up, "The Kitchen Sink," a script that appeared on the 2010 Black List of Hollywood's best unproduced screenplays. Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis and Josh Fadem are currently attached to the film that features a pair of teens who form an alliance with vampires and zombies to take on an army of invading aliens.

No projected release date for "Men in Black 4" has been announced, though the producers better not take ten years again if they want Tommy Lee Jones to star in it.