Chris Hemsworth in negotiations for Men in Black spin-off

Original franchise stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones will not be returning for the film.

Action man Chris Hemsworth has been tapped to lead a new Men in Black spin-off movie.

The Thor star is in early talks to join the Sony Pictures franchise revamp, which will be directed by The Fate of the Furious filmmaker F. Gary Gray, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gray will work from a script written by Iron Man screenwriters Matt Holloway and Art Marcum.

The original Men in Black films starred Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith as unlikely alien-fighting sidekicks, with the first movie becoming a smash hit upon its release in 1997, raking in $589 million (£428 million) at the global box office.

It spawned a sequel in 2002 and third installment in 2012, which also featured Josh Brolin, with the trilogy banking more than $1.5 billion worldwide.

Neither Jones nor Smith are returning for the fresh take on the sci-fi franchise, which will instead centre on a new pair of agents working for the secretive government agency.

Steven Spielberg will executive produce the forthcoming Men in Black project, which is set to hit cinemas in June, 2019.

If Hemsworth signs on for the film, it won't be his first blockbuster franchise - he is also a key member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, reprising his role as superhero Thor for the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, which opens in May (18).

He is also due to return to outer space for another Star Trek movie, in which he plays George Kirk, the father of Chris Pine's character, Captain James T. Kirk.

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