(Photo: Getty Images, Mark Davis)

Back in September, we reported that Sony was preparing to commit to a spin-off of the Men In Black series that would resurrect the basic storyline of government agents hassling extraterrestrial immigrants but without original stars Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Iron Man screenwriters Matt Holloway and Art Marcum had been tapped to write the script, and Sony reportedly gave the project a green light based on the strength of the work they turned in.

Now, Deadline says that Fate Of The Furious’ F. Gary Gray is in “negotiations” to direct the new Men In Black movie, which is specifically being billed as a “spin-off” and not a hard reboot. That most likely means there will at least be some lip service paid to the old movies, which would be easy to accomplish with a cameo from, say, Rip Torn’s Agent Zed or the head-growing alien played by Tony Shalhoub. Really, we’d take any excuse to get Tony Shalhoub in more big genre movies like this. Maybe he could be the new star? (Please consider it, Sony.)

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It’s also worth noting that this has nothing to do with the proposed Men In Black/21 Jump Street crossover, the existence of which was leaked in the big Sony hack. That project was deemed too “complicated” to actually make, but this back-to-basics Men In Black revival has already been penciled in for a June 14, 2019 release.