Those men in black are back

May 25, 2012

Barry Sonnenfeld .attends the “Men In Black 3” New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on May 23, 2012 in New York City. Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Today, Earth will once again be reunited with Agents J, K, and aliens from all over the galaxy. In “Men in Black 3,” Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are reunited as Smith’s Agent J must go back in time to prevent the assassination of Jones’s Agent K.

This takes Agent J to 1969, the founding year of the Men in Black headquarters in New York City. To play the young Agent K, actor Josh Brolin has stepped in to Jones’s shoes. While Smith, Jones and Brolin are integral parts of the movie, there is one name audiences might not be so familiar with who has played a huge role in shaping this entire series: Barry Sonnenfeld.

As director of the three movies, Sonnenfeld has played an exclusive role in the direction of the franchise. For instance, it was Sonnenfeld’s idea to place the first movie in New York City, as he could imagine New Yorkers living amongst aliens and not finding them odd or out of the ordinary. Now, he is not only taking the agents back in time, but he’s also putting them in 3-D.

The success of “Men in Black” is no surprise, given Sonnenfeld’s track record, which has numerous hits. He served as director of photography for the Coen brothers on “Blood Simple,” “Raising Arizona” and “Miller’s Crossing.” He worked with Rob Reiner in the same capacity on “When Harry Met Sally” and “Misery,” before getting the chance to direct on his own with “The Addams Family.”

Today, we have Sonnenfeld on AirTalk to discuss “Men in Black III,” his career and what he’s cooking up next.


Barry Sonnenfeld, filmmaker, director and actor. He worked as cinematographer for the Coen brothers, then later directed and produced a number of films including “The Addams Family” and its sequel, “Addams Family Values” and the “Wild Wild West,” along with the critically acclaimed “Get Shorty” and “Men in Black.”

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