EXCLUSIVE: Jemaine Clement discusses a 'Flight of the Conchords' movie and 'Men in Black III'
Monday, 11 April 2011 12:32 Written by Jami Philbrick
Comedian, actor and musician Jemaine Clement is best known as one half of the comedic musical duo Flight of the Conchords, along with his partner Bret McKenzie. The New Zealand based comedy/musical act first took America by storm in 2001 with their hilarious self-titled HBO series Flight of the Conchords, which ran for only two seasons but spawned four popular albums. Fans were crushed in late 2009 when it was announced that there would not be a third season of the show, and Clement stated it was due to the fact that writing the songs for the series was taking up too much time. Considering Clement and McKenzie's ever growing busy schedules, its understandable why.
Since their series ended, the two performers have gone their separate ways. McKenzie recently contributed original songs to the upcoming film The Muppets, which is directed by Flight of the Conchords director James Bobin. He will also soon appear in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: Part 1 as Lindir, which is no small coincidence since the actor appeared in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy as Figwit the elf. Clement has been keeping busy as well starring in popular films like Gentlemen Broncos, Despicable Me, and Dinner For Schmucks. He will also soon be seen as the antagonist in two highly anticipated upcoming films including the animated movie Rio, from the creators of Ice Age, and the long awaited third chapter of the Men in Black series, Men in Black III. With so much on their plates, the question still remains: what will be the ultimate fate of Flight of the Conchords?
We recently had a chance to catch up with musician/comedian/actor Jemaine Clement while on the red carpet for the premiere of his new film Rio, which opens in US theaters on April 15th. While we know that the Flight of the Conchords television series is no more, as a hardcore fan of the band, I wanted to know what's in store for the group in the future. So I took the opportunity to ask Jemaine if he and Bret have plans to work on another album together any time soon. "We are thinking of writing some stuff," answered Clement. "Maybe some songs ... maybe a film." WHAT? Did Jemaine just say that they are planning a Flight of the Conchords movie? That's what it sounded like to me! I tried to follow up with Clement and find out more details about the proposed movie but the actor, who was sporting long hair, a beard, and resembled the artist-formally-known-as Cat Stevens, was quickly ushered away before I had a chance to ask.
However, I did have an opportunity to speak with Clement about his upcoming role in Men in Black III. The production has been plagued with delays and set backs including a two-month hiatus, which was rumored to be due to issues with the film's script. In the movie, Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) are forced to go back in time to the '1960s and work with a young Agent K (Josh Brolin). Their goal is to stop a time-traveling villain named Boris (Clement), who is determined to assassinate young Agent K in order to set off a chain of events that will lead to the destruction of the world. While he was pretty tight-lipped about the project, I asked the actor if he was now back to work shooting the film and he confirmed that he was. I also took the opportunity to ask Clement how production was going on the film and he replied, "Really good, it's fun." I followed up by asking the actor if he could give me some more details about the character that he plays in the movie. "I'm the bad guy," was unfortunately all that Clement would tell me about his role. Finally, I asked the talented performer if he was having fun working with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones on the film. "Yeah, they are great to work with," Clement replied.
So what do you think? Is a Flight of the Conchords movie something that you would like to see in the future? I, for one, hope it happens and I think that Clement and McKenzie are talented enough to pull it off. But do you think that the film will be able to successfully capture the magic of the TV series, or ultimately disappoint fans the way that fellow musical-comedy act Tenacious D's Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny did? And will Men in Black III be as big a hit as its predecessors, or do you think that it will be an out-of-this-world failure? I think the jury is still out on MIB III ... but only time will tell.
Rio opens in US theaters on April 15th.
Men in Black III is scheduled for release on May 25th, 2012.
Not giving away much but it's still great to read about future FOTC plans.