Mark Wahlberg Nearly Starred Opposite Will Smith in ‘Men in Black 3’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Mark Wahlberg at the premiere of HBO

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones make an iconic pair in 1997’s Men in Black. Regardless of the place followers stand on the sequels, the odd-couple chemistry between them helped make the film the 12 months’s second-biggest hit. Only Titanic — then the highest-grossing film ever — made extra.

But when it got here time for Men in Black 3 in 2012, the time-travel storyline meant a brand new actor would must be solid as Kay in Jones’ place. For a lot of the runtime, Smith’s Jay groups with a younger Kay on a case essential to the longer term. As it seems, Mark Wahlberg almost landed the a part of younger Kay.

Mark Wahlberg at the premiere of HBO's 'McMillion$'
Mark Wahlberg on the premiere of HBO’s ‘McMillion$’ | Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Josh Brolin did a spot-on Tommy Lee Jones impression in ‘Men in Black 3’

Before discussing Wahlberg’s near-casting, first let’s name out the actor who did wind up enjoying the younger Kay. Josh Brolin — now greatest identified to followers as Thanos within the Avengers motion pictures — stars reverse Smith in Men in Black 3. And director Barry Sonnenfeld lately revealed how decided Brolin was to precisely seize Jones’ voice.

Brolin, the whole time we labored collectively, had a tape recorder of the primary Men in Black, and at any time when he was on the set, he was listening to Tommy’s lilt. Tommy has probably the most musical voice. It’s a stupendous voice. It actually flows and ebbs. It’s actually sing-songy. And Brolin did a implausible job. He made me cry so many instances watching him.

It’s unlikely Wahlberg would have tried to mimic Jones as Brolin did. After all, the actor isn’t identified for being a lot of a chameleon on the massive display screen. However, we’ll by no means know, because the circumstances behind Men in Black 3‘s development didn’t pan out that approach.

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Director Barry Sonnenfeld met with Mark Wahlberg in regards to the position too

As Sonnenfeld explains it, a robust Hollywood agent named Ari Emanuel — the real-life inspiration for Entourage‘s Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) — was pushing for Wahlberg to snag the position of younger Kay. So though Sonnenfeld nonetheless hoped to solid Brolin, he entertained the concept of bringing Wahlberg aboard.

“I ended up having to meet Mark Wahlberg. And Mark was lovely,” Sonnenfeld stated. “He was great. He would have been great in the role. But I wanted Brolin. So I got Brolin, and thank God, the studio backed me up. But they were really nervous about making Ari upset that I didn’t go with his guy.”

In the top, most critics agreed Brolin’s efficiency was the spotlight of Men in Black 3. The movie itself proved to be a monetary success and allowed the sequence to bounce again after the disappointing response to 2002’s Men in Black 2.

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2019 reboot ‘Men in Black International’ killed the franchise

Although moviegoers by no means bought to see Wahlberg and Smith on display screen, they did see the Men in Black sequence reimagined as a star automobile for Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Director F. Gary Gray’s 2019 movie shifted gears from Jay and Kay to 2 different MIB brokers. But the chemistry Hemsworth and Thompson shared in Thor: Ragnarok was gone.

Men in Black International was launched to poor evaluations and a disappointing complete of $80 million domestically. In its wake, the Men in Black franchise — which Men in Black 3 had restored — has as soon as once more been swept away. Only time will inform if the sequence will return to the massive display screen anytime quickly. But it’s wanting fairly unlikely at this level.

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