On this day in 1997, the science fiction-comedy movie Men in Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, opens in theaters around the United States.
The film grossed more than $250 million in America alone and helped establish the former sitcom star Will Smith as one of Hollywood’s most bankable leading men.
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty), Men in Black was based on an early 1990s comic book by Lowell Cunningham called The Men in Black.
Smith and Jones reprised their roles as Agent J and Agent K, two secret agents who must protect the Earth from aliens, in a hit 2002 sequel, Men in Black II.
Smith, who began his entertainment career as a rapper, performed on both Men in Black soundtracks.