Tessa Thompson Explains How Men In Black: International Expands the Series’ Universe

Tessa Thompson Explains How Men In Black International Expands the Series’ Universe

With Men In Black International hitting theaters today, some fans may be confused as to where exactly it fits within the sci-fi universe. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, co-star Tessa Thompson has provided some clarification. She notes that the film isn’t necessarily a sequel, but isn’t really a “fresh start” either.

“Really I think it’s just a continuation of the universe,” she said during the film’s New York premiere. “It’s essentially 20 years later. My character, M, who has this experience with an extraterrestrial, it happens sort of on the same timeline as when Tommy Lee [Jones] and Will [Smith]’s characters would have been working inside the (Men In Black) organization.”

“I think if they love the original films, our film takes a global scope, thus the ‘International,’ added Thompson. “You’ve only ever seen these films in the context of New York City. You get to see us in Morocco and London and Italy and Paris and then back in New York. I think there’s a real freshness in terms of the action, the advent of all of these aliens. Technology changes so rapidly so what we can do now relative to 22 years ago, when the first film was made, I think we made something special that fans can enjoy… I hope it’ll bring in a whole new generation of people who don’t have a relationship with the original films.”

Related: Men In Black International’s First Reviews Are Galactically Bad

Producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald also provided some additional context for fans wondering where Men In Black International fits into the timeline.

“It’s a very clear idea,” Parkes explains. “In other words, the idea of a secret police, secret agents who are protecting us from the aliens who are all around us and you just don’t know it. You can go, ‘I’ve got that, that’s interesting. Add to that the style of the movie, the alien tech and the particular tone…I think it’s an idea that even if you weren’t aware of the first ones, will be very legible to the moviegoer.”

Fans can check out Men In Black International in theaters now. Will you be seeing Tessa Thompson and fellow co-star Chris Hemsworth in action this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

Recommended Viewing: Men in Black Trilogy Blu-ray