‘Men In Black’ Director Steered Chris O’Donnell Away From The Movie
Barry Sonnenfeld, the director of Men in Black, admitted in an interview with Insider that he downplayed the role of Agent J. to Chris O’Donnell because he wanted it to go to Will Smith. Producers wanted O’Donnell for the part.
“I had suggested Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Will was actually my wife’s idea,” Sonnenfeld said. However, producers weren’t sold on Smith since he was known more for his music and his work on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
“I met with Chris and he had concerns about the script and had another movie offer. So I told him, ‘Yeah, we might never fix this script and I don’t think I know how to direct this movie.’ So he passed on the movie the next day,” Sonnenfeld recalled.