Will Smith returns for latest entry in Sony franchise

Will Smith is ready to again don a pair of black shades, this time of the 3D variety.

Sony announced Friday that “Men in Black III” will get the 3D treatment, with a release set for May 25, 2012.

The “Black” installment will reteam Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld. Smith has been rumored to topline one of two projects as his next vehicle: “Black” or 20th Century Fox’s “The City That Sailed.”

Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce the series’ third offering, which is penned by Etan Cohen, based on the comicbook by Lowell Cunningham. Steven Spielberg will exec produce.

“Sony’s summer of 2012 will get off to a red-hot start with an incredible new 3D adventure for the Men in Black,” said Sony chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake. “We couldn’t be more excited that the original filmmaking team responsible for the first two worldwide hits is reuniting for this third installment.”

The “Men in Black” franchise has grossed north of $1 billion worldwide collectively.

Production for the third installment is set begin this fall, with Tommy Lee Jones in advanced negotiations to reprise his role as Agent Kay. Josh Brolin also is in talks to star as a young Agent Kay.

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