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Men In Black: International Director F. Gary Gray Almost Quit The Movie

Apparently, the Men in Black were embroiled in drama long before the film ever opened to harsh reviews and disappointing profits in mid-June. 

A recent story published by The Hollywood Reporter details that the troubles Men in Black: International faced began almost a year ago and grew so overwhelming that director F. Gary Gray nearly quit the film. 

Citing unnamed executives at studio Sony Pictures, THR notes that Gary was prepared to step down from his directorial post following differences with producer Walter Parkes — problems which arose after Sony's executive vice president of production David Beaubaire exited the studio in the summer of 2018. Without Beaubaire overseeing Men in Black: International (and with no one taking his place), Gray and Parkes engaged in a "tug-of-war" for power, "clashed on the vision for the film," caused confusion amongst the actors who couldn't keep up with daily arrivals of new script pages, and even delivered to Sony executives different versions of the film. 

It's also been said that Parkes "attempted to remake the script on the fly" — all the while Sony was purportedly trying to limit "its own financial exposure" because it felt that Men in Black: International "needed a greater reason to be."

Ultimately, Sony actually chose the Parkes cut of Men in Black: International as the one to be launched in theaters. The studio may be regretting that decision right now, considering the Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson two-hander failed to break through even the 25 percent fresh marker on Rotten Tomatoes and is seriously underperforming at the box office.

It's terrible to hear that Men in Black: International had such a troubled production, but knowing how the film panned out upon its release, we aren't entirely surprised that there were bumps in the road and brawls brewing behind closed doors. There are a ton of hypotheticals to ponder — Would the Gray cut have been better? Would things have turned out differently if Beaubaire never left Sony, or if he was at least replaced? How much of the negative response to Men in Black: International could have been avoided? — but it's no use to think about what-ifs. 

International will go down in history as the worst of the Men in Black movies, but that doesn't mean the franchise is totally dead. As one insider revealed, "Aliens walking among us is at its core a great idea. Men in Black will be revisited again at one point, either as a series, as streaming, or as another movie." Let's hope that if another film does get made, the director doesn't ever consider dropping out.