'Men in Black 4' in Development at Sony

Men in Black 3 Will Smith on Machine - H 2012
<p>Men in Black 3 Will Smith on Machine - H 2012</p>   |   Wilson Webb/Columbia Pictures
Oren Uziel will first write the "21 Jump Street" sequel then tackle "MiB 4."

Sony is throwing another Men in Black into development, hiring Oren Uziel to pen a draft.

At the same time, Uziel also has been tapped to work on the sequel to 21 Jump Street.

Men in Black 4 is in the early stages of development, and it is unclear to what extent franchise star Will Smith is involved at this point, though clearly there is interest to capitalize on last year’s movie. MiB 3 grossed a franchise-best $624 million and received warm reviews, after the bloated mess of Men in Black 2.

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There are no deals for Josh Brolin or Emma Thompson to return, and the movie series is expensive to make for the studio because of backend participation deals with such players as Smith, director Barry Sonnenfeld and executive producer Steven Spielberg.

Uziel will tackle Men in Black 4 after he works on 21 Jump Street 2, which Sony already has dated for a June 6, 2014, release. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back as stars as are Phil Lord and Chris Miller as directors.

Sony didn’t comment on loglines, but it is expected that the Jump Street plot will see the doofus undercover cops in a college setting rather than a high school setting. Hill and Michael Bacall wrote the initial draft for the new movie.

The double deal solidifies Uziel’s standing at the studio, which is making is genre mash-up Kitchen Sink, a sci-fi/horror comedy that was a Black List script.