Reboots are a roll of the dice, especially when it comes to modern cinematic versions of retro cult television series. Last year brought us two projects of that ilk, between director Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and Chris Lord and Phil Miller’s 21 Jump Street.
The former of the two movies – each featuring Johnny Depp in some capacity – ended up being the higher-grossing title worldwide ($245 million vs. $201 million), but it was the latter which earned far more in the way of critical accolades (also, it cost $42 million vs. $150 million for Dark Shadows). In summation: this is why the sequel 22 Jump Street, rather than (Darker Shadows? 2 Dark 2 Shadowy?), will arrive in theaters next summer.
22 Jump Street has started production, with Lord and Miller back directing; meaning, this sequel will their be second theatrical release in 2014, following their return to the animation medium – where they made their mark on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – with The Lego Movie arriving in February. The screen story for the next 21 Jump Street installment is the brainchild of costar/producer Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall (collaborators on the first movie), with the script credited to Bacall, Rodney Rothman (Grudge Match) and Oren Uziel (the developing Mortal Kombat film reboot and Men in Black 4).
Here is the official synopsis for 22 Jump Street, from the Sony/MGM press release:
In the action-comedy 22 Jump Street, after making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college.
Ice Cube is confirmed to reprise as Jenko and Schmidt’s foul-mouthed, no-nonsense, stereotype-embracing superior, Captain Dickson in 22 Jump Street, but otherwise the official press release doesn’t reveal any additional information on the film’s supporting cast (though, Greeks‘ Amber Stevens is rumored to play a love interest). That may change over the forthcoming weeks, as filming takes place in New Orleans and Puerto Rico and, in turn, other cast members are unveiled (read: get their names leaked to the press).
If that plot blurb was a little too vague for your tastes, then here’s a little more (non-spoilery) insight on the story for this second round of 21 Jump Street madness, as provided by producer Neal H. Moritz (who is backing the sequel through his Original Film banner, like he did the first installment):
“['22 Jump Street'] leads off where we ended the last film and our guys are going to college… Now they’re actual partners, so they’re married – what happens once marriage starts? In certain ways, it’s kind of like the Seven Year Itch of police buddy comedies.”
21 Jump Street works as well as it does because the filmmakers mixed self-awareness with clever satirical and raunchy humor, which allows them to approach certain ideas that are inherent to the movie’s premise – like how expectations and reality clash when people revisit their youth – in an enjoyable manner. That is to say, there’s certainly room for the sequel to manage as much in the college setting (and with Jenko/Schmidt entering the “marriage” stage of both their partnership and friendship) – so, here is hoping for the best, on that front.
22 Jump Street opens in U.S. theaters on June 13th, 2014.