When a movie begins production it is uncommon for the studio to allow a break in filming as it increases budget costs, but that is what Columbia plans to do with Men in Black 3.
Filming will move to New York today where it will remain until Christmas. Production will “then shut down until the middle of February, when it will resume.” The break is mostly due to New York State tax incentives, but is also due to the weather.
From The L.A Times:
The shoot that begins this week will focus on the film’s present-day events, while the production that picks up in mid-February will be centered on the 1969 storyline, the sources said.
The film’s producer confirmed the hiatus but said it was not the result of creative disagreement but rather part of a plan conceived months ago that would allow the production to begin in 2010 but allow parts of the movie, which is set in the summer, to shoot in a more temperate climate.
“We had to start shooting this year to take advantage of New York State tax incentives, but we also needed to be able to shoot certain exteriors in warmer weather,” producer Walter Parkes said. “So back in July we had the idea to keep the start date but build in a hiatus so we could essentially extend the production to late spring.”
They also report that screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can and Rush Hour 2) has been brought in to rewrite the script, specifically the time-travel section of the movie which sees Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones transported back to 1969 where they meet Josh Brolin, who plays a young version of Jones.
Men in Black 3 won’t be released until May 2012 so this filming hiatus won’t have much of an impact. In the movie British actress Emma Thompson will play Agent Oh, who is the head of MIB and Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords will play the villain, although his motives have not yet been revealed.