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IMDB lists David Cross' character in MIB as an unnamed "morgue attendant" and as "Newton" in MIB2, however the MIB Wikia and Wikipedia both state unequivocally that they're the same person:

Newton is a recurring minor character in the Men in Black films. Newton originally worked at a morgue with Laurel. He is portrayed by David Cross.


Is there any out-of-universe confirmation (e.g. from interviews, etc) that he's playing the same character or is this simply an error on the wikia/s?

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  • In-universe, according to the script, Cross' MiB character has a different name (Tony; although I suppose it's not impossible his name is Tony Newton), and he dies. It does seem unlikely that they're the same character – Jason Baker May 24 '15 at 18:37
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    @JasonBaker - The script you're referring to is a pre-production draft which means that it's not quite the same as the film. Interestingly, the novelisation appears to be based on that script since it also mentions his name as Tony. Unfortunately, neither of these necessarily answer the question since, at least theoretically he might have survived. – Valorum May 24 '15 at 18:40
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    @bleh - 500 rep is not a lot. – Valorum Dec 25 '15 at 14:32
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    @Richard For me it is. – bleh Dec 25 '15 at 14:33
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    @bleh - Economy of scale. That's like 2 days worth for me. – Valorum Dec 25 '15 at 14:34
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+500

Yes.

Tastes like Chicken's: "DAVID CROSS interview by darby o'gill" has this Q&A with him:

d: I also noticed that you're going to be in Men In Black 2 this summer. Please don't take this the wrong way, but didn't you die in the first Men In Black?

D: YEAH! That was ####ng’ weird! The director really liked me, and he wanted me to be in this movie. Just like the first one, it was another small part. We were on the set shooting the first scene. I think we had shot it twice, when he came over in the middle of shooting, and he says, "What if you're the same guy, from the last movie?" I was like, “How would that work?” He just wrote some lines down, and says, "Say this, 'You don't remember me? I was the guy you slimed.'" And that was that.

Now, this is somewhat suspicious, because that phrase does not appear in the film. But there you have it, a claim from the man himself that it was the same character.

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    Boom. Headshot. – Valorum Dec 27 '15 at 7:50
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Interestingly, the MiB1 and MiB2 novels are conflicted on the issue;

A dead man was stuck to the high ceiling by a wad of viscous, dripping goo. The guy had a can of Raid in one hand and a really surprised expression on his face.

Men in Black: A novelisation

Versus

"You don't remember me," Newton went on. "Nineteen ninety-seven? The morgue? I was the guy slimed on the ceiling?" To blank stares, Newton continued "The tape you reserved....

Men in Black 2: Official Novelisation

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Maybe after he was stuck on the ceiling at the morgue he was neuralyzed and given a new job as a video store worker? That's the best I can guess.

It would be nice if the Director or Writer would give a little clarity because it is confusing. That's too big a gaff to be a "continuity error".

They couldn't POSSIBLY think EVERYONE wouldn't be asking this same question!

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    The script indicates that he's dead. End of. My question is whether the writers decided to ignore or retcon the script in the second film when they recast the actor. – Valorum May 29 '15 at 20:24
  • That script is, as Richard pointed out, pre-production. – Carpe CM May 29 '15 at 21:33

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