Hollywood is clearly on a mission to leave no ’80s movie and TV property alone (See: Fright Night). Just one of the many new examples of ’80s properties making a comeback is a big-screen version of the late ’80s TV series, 21 Jump Street.

Superbad star Jonah Hill helped hatch the story for the new 21 Jump Street alongside script writer Michael Bacall. Hill is also set to star in one of the two lead roles, but there’s another lead role to fill and it’s being reported that Channing Tatum is now the top contender for that part.

According to Deadline, Tatum has jumped to the very top of Sony’s wishlist for 21 Jump Street and will soon enter into negotiations. The studio met with lots of potential leading actors, but Tatum and Hill are said to have matched up well – certainly well enough that the studio would start getting serious about casting Tatum.

Both Tatum and Hill are a couple of those actors who can play a lot younger than they actually are (Tatum is 30, Hill is 26). This will definitely come in handy for 21 Jump Street a film about cops who go undercover in high school to fight and solve crimes. Tatum isn’t the greatest actor, but it’s too early to tell if strong acting chops is really what 21 Jump Street will be about (somehow I doubt it will be).

The original 21 Jump Street series launched the career of Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp, one of the few stars who successfully made the jump from TV to movies. Hill has previously stated he wants Depp to have a role in the new version – wouldn’t that be a dream come true for those who have been fans of Depp from the beginning? 😛

Along with Tatum, Hill’s Superbad co-star Emma Stone was previously reported as being up for the lead female role. There’s still no official word of her casting, as she was on a list which also included Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Lilli Collins and Teresa Palmer (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice). However, I think Stone would be the best choice, not just because of her recent high-school role in Easy A but also because of the exposure she’ll be getting for starring as Gwen Stacy in the Spider-Man reboot.

Emma Stone with Jonah Hill in ‘Superbad’

21 Jump Street is being directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the guys behind the hit animated film Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Whether that’s indicative that the tone of the new Jump Street will be more silly than serious, I’m not sure. We could be looking at a more hardcore version, though, as Hill has previously said he wants it to be an, “R-rated, insane, Bad Boys-meets-John-Hughes-type movie.” Would you prefer the new 21 Jump Street to be serious or tongue-in-cheek (or somewhere in between)?

21 Jump Street is aiming to start shooting next March, with a release date slated for March 16, 2012.

Source: Deadline