In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s podcast, Awards Chatter, Friends alum David Schwimmer revealed that he was originally offered the role of Agent J. According to Schwimmer, he had planned on accepting the role as part of a three-picture deal with Miramax, as long as it didn’t conflict with his directorial debut.
“I had said, ‘OK, I’ll sign for a three-picture deal if you let me direct my first film and cast my entire theater company in Chicago,” explained Schwimmer according to Yahoo.
At the end of the day, however, the stars didn’t align, and when Schwimmer found out Men In Black would conflict with his film, Since You’ve Been Gone, the actor turned it down.
“About a month before production, I get a call about Men In Black, which was a direct conflict with doing, directing that film,” recounted Schwimmer. “I just said, ‘I can’t.’ these are my closest friends in the world. This is their first shot at a movie, my first shot at directing. It wasn’t even like a choice. It was like, ‘I can’t.’”
In the end, as amusing as it would have been to see Schwimmer tackle aliens alongside Tommy Lee Jones, we’re happy the part ultimately went to Will Smith!