Men in Black is a 1997 American science fiction buddy cop action comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. Loosely adapted from The Men in Black comic book series created by artist Lowell Cunningham, the film stars Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith as two agents of a secret organization called the Men in Black who supervise extraterrestrial lifeforms who live on Earth and hide their existence from ordinary humans. The film featured the creature effects and makeup of Rick Baker and visual effects by Industrial Light & Magic.
The film was released on July 2, 1997, by Columbia Pictures, and grossed over $589.3 million worldwide against a $90 million budget, becoming the year’s third highest-grossing film, with an estimated 54,616,700 tickets sold in the US. It received worldwide acclaim, with critics highly praising its witty, sophisticated humor, Jones and Smith’s performances, and Danny Elfman’s musical score. The film received three Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Original Score, and Best Makeup, winning the latter award.
The film has spawned two sequels, Men in Black II (2002) and Men in Black 3 (2012), and an animated series. A reboot of the film series has been discussed and is in development.
Thanks to being bolstered by the perfect chemistry between its’ stars Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, great comedy, great action, pretty damn spectacular villains, and a lot of really clever material, it went on to become a success on the level of the original Ghostbusters and made stars out of Will Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld, although he was already making his name well known as a director with The Addams Family movies and Get Shorty, Men In Black put him on the map.