Harry Potter star joins Men in Black 3

Emma Thompson’s skipping the bard for blockbusters – if even temporarily.

The British gem, known for her long associations with Bill Shakespeare inspired features (many of which she made with ex-husband Kenneth Branagh, like “Much Ado About Nothing”) but also for her roles in such films as “Nanny McPhee”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “The Remains of the Day” (what a marvelous movie that was; features one of the last performances by the great Christopher Reeve), has joined the cast of “Men in Black 3″.

Amy Pascal’s second sequel to Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1997 hit reunites Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as government-sponsored alien busters, ‘Jay’ and ‘Kay’. Josh Brolin joins the cast as a younger version of Jones’ character, whilst Jemaine Clement plays the villain. The plot involves our heroes traveling back in time to stop Clement’s character, who is on a mission to kill the young Kay.

Thompson, who appears in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” shortly, will play an unspecified role in the 2011 3D release according to Deadline.

Love interest? New “MIB” boss? (replacing Rip Torn, perhaps?) Hoity university lecturer sleeping with Clement’s character?