Was Will Smith Not the First Choice to Play Agent J in ‘Men in Black’? Here Are a Few Actors Who Turned Down the Role

Published 05/13/2023, 9:30 AM EDT

via Imago

Over the years, a plethora of actors have tried their luck in acting. However, only a handful have managed to reach the heights and success Will Smith has. Not only did he make a perfect transition from a rapper to an actor, but he also established himself in both fields. While the actor has starred in a plethora of films throughout his career, Men In Black remains one of his timeless classics. His performance as Agent J was at par. However, surprising as it sounds, Smith was not the first choice for the role and the reason is rather interesting.

Men In Black film series undoubtedly is one of the most successful film series in the world today. The movie was incredibly successful, both critically and commercially. However, only a handful of the fans know that the film was actually inspired by a comic book about superheroes. As per reports by YardBarker, in the comics, the role of Agent J was actually played by a blonde white male. However, in the films, the choice of the lead actor is poles apart from what the comics described.

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A lesser-known fact about the film is that a number of actors turned down the lead role before it went to Smith. During the early stages of the film’s production, the studio was actually aiming for other Hollywood A-listers from the time. The reports further suggest the producers initially aimed to cast David Schwimmer as Agent J.

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It was also during the time Schwimmer was the talk of the town owing to his role in the popular sitcom Friends. The actor turned down the role and so did Chris O’Donnell, who felt it was very similar to his role of Robin in Batman.

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How Men In Black helped the rapping career of Will Smith

Fans are no strangers to the fact that Smith has a successful career in the music industry as well. Long before his debut in Hollywood, the actor was more popular as Fresh Prince, known for his rapping skills. Moreover, Smith did not quit music even after he joined Hollywood. And interestingly, Men In Black gave him another chance as a rapper as well.

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It might surprise you to know but the actor recorded a song, ‘Men In Black’, for the closing credit scenes. Not only was the track a massive success, but it was also the first time Smith recorded as a solo artist. It went on to become the top song in the US back then.

Who would you rather see as Agent J apart from Smith? Comment down below.

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Hamza Qazi

890 articles

Introducing Hamza Qazi, a Hollywood and Anime News writer at Netflix Junkie. Hamza's love affair with anime began early in his life when he fell in love with Naruto, which sparked his interest in reporting. He began channelizing his inner reporter by writing for his school magazine and later for a college magazine.

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