Chris O'Donnell was tricked out of Men In Black role
- Bang Showbiz
- 5 July 2017
'Batman Forever' actor Chris O'Donnell was in line to play one of the lead roles in 'Men In Black' but was tricked by director Barry Sonnenfeld to say no
Chris O'Donnell was tricked into turning down a lead role in 'Men In Black'.
The 47-year-old actor had played Robin in 1995's 'Batman Forever' in and was reprising his role in 1997's 'Batman and Robin' - which saw George Clooney take on the role of The Caped Crusader in the panned blockbuster.
But O'Donnell could have starred in one of 1997's biggest hits as he had been singled out for the part of Agent J in 'MIB' by Steven Spielberg who was producing the sci-fi action film through his company Amblin Entertainment.
However, director Barry Sonnenfeld knew he wanted Will Smith and cunningly convinced O'Donnell not to take the role.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Sonnenfeld said: "Steven Spielberg told me I had to go to dinner with Chris and convince Chris to be in the movie. I knew I wanted Will Smith, so I told Chris that I wasn't a very good director and I didn't think the script was very good and if he had any other options he shouldn't do 'Men In Black'.
"He let it be known the next day that he was not interested."
The roles ended up going to Smith as the new recruit Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones was cast as the veteran alien hunter Agent K.
Smith and Jones returned to two more sequels following the success of the 1997 movie but after the third movie, which also starred Josh Brolin, it doesn't seem they will be returning for a fourth film.
Sonnenfeld said: "I wish there were a fourth film. I don't think Will Smith nor I would be involved. But I love the franchise, because I developed it and created it."
'Batman and Robin' enjoyed only a modest box office return and was slated by critics and ended the big screen Batman franchise until Christopher Nolan's 2005 reboot 'Batman Begins'.
Meanwhile, 'Men In Black' was the second biggest movie of 1997 behind James Cameron's romance epic 'Titanic'.