It seems impossible for the MCU to get any larger, but some fans are wondering whether it would be possible for the Men in Black franchise to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To those who haven’t heard this theory, this seems absolutely insane. However, the origins of the Men in Black comics may overlap with and be under the Marvel umbrella. This has also come up because of the current partnership between Sony (who owns the Men in Black property) and Marvel on the Spider-Man property.
Fans of the Men in Black franchise may be skeptical of this change in ownership, that it may not even be possible. There is nothing to fear (or get excited about) currently, as nothing has been stated by either company on the possibility of this partnership/franchise transfer. However, it is always fun to ask What If?… (as one Marvel show is titled), so what if Men in Black moves to Marvel? How would that even work? Why would it happen? Is it even possible? Let’s see.
Many know the fictional, alien-fighting organization, the Men in Black, from the Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith movies. However, the organization originated in a comic book, the first of which was published in 1990, with the first film following in 1997. The comic was originally written by Lowell Cunningham (who was credited in the original Men in Black film) under Aircel Comics. Aircel was bought by Malibu Comics, and then Marvel Comics, just before the premiere of the first Men in Black film. Thus, Men in Black was not originally a Marvel comic, but it fell under their ownership.
However, this is complicated by the fact that Sony owns the Men in Black intellectual property, and Marvel only owns the comic. This is similar to the Spider-Man ownership debacle that has clouded the Marvel offspring of the franchise for the last few years. The original comic was actually inspired by UFO sightings over New Mexico and elsewhere that date back to 1947. Once the idea of UFOs and the American fascination with them began, there was no stopping the inclusion of extraterrestrials in movies. This led to countless films and, eventually, the Men in Black comic.
Could the Sony-Marvel Partnership Include The Men in Black Franchise?
Spider-Man holding Captain America’s shieldSony Pictures Releasing
As Marvel fans know, there is currently a rocky partnership between Marvel and Sony pertaining to the Spider-Man property. The partnership has been profitable for both parties, but the problem lies in the lack of communication between the two companies. Instead of communicating about issues with each other, the companies choose instead to go to the media to air their grievances. This has created articles and mass internet hysteria over Spider-Man and his possible departure from the MCU.
While obviously scary for Marvel and Spider-Man fans, this could also be the fate of the Men in Black franchise and fans of it, if Sony and Marvel were to partner on its future. All the Men in Black films made thus far may or may not be canon in the Marvel version (such as with the past Spider-Man movies). Marvel may choose to completely remake the franchise and start from scratch, completely erasing everything fans loved about the previous Men in Black franchise. On the other hand, the partnership could be amazingly successful and without any public feuds, but that could be unlikely considers Marvel and Sony’s plans together have been complicated.
Would This Ever Happen?
A character in tattered clothes pushes his hand forwardSony Pictures Releasing / Marvel
Everything said above is pure speculation, but has become increasingly probably as Sony’s first woman-led Marvel movie is developed, indicating closer relations between the two companies; Men in Black III was distributed by both Sony Pictures Releasing and Marvel Entertainment, after all. As mentioned earlier, neither company has said anything about the Men in Black property moving to the MCU in any way, shape, or form. The talking points above are solely ones that have been brought up by fans of the franchise who know of the comic’s origin. While Marvel’s acquisition of the comic is not at all recent, the film/television section of the franchise seems to be ever-expanding, pulling in properties many fans never thought would see the big screen.
Thus, fans of Men in Black began to think it may be a possibility for the franchise to be brought to the big screen again by Marvel as part of their increasing imprint on visual media. On one hand, the Men in Black franchise has been very profitable and beneficial for Sony. However, the fourth and most recent Men in Black film was a big bust, with its production history sounding like a recipe for disaster, and thus Sony may be looking to get it off their hands. Again, everything here is speculation, but doing a little research can be fun, and the MCU thrives on fan speculation regarding crossovers. Who knows if Marvel will take over the Men in Black? Just something to wonder… what if?