Two of the sequels currently being juggled over at Columbia Pictures – along with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Girl Who Played With Fire – are Men in Black 4 and 21 Jump Street 2. The former is still in the early stages of development, but the latter was recently given a summer 2014 release date, which means that filming will probably begin in mid-to-late 2013.
Perhaps in the interests of expediency, Columbia has selected the same writer to work on both projects.
The Wrap reports that Oren Uziel will work on a rewrite of the 21 Jump Street sequel script that, as with the first movie, was written by Michael Bacall. Since directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (also returning after the success of 21 Jump Street) are currently busy with the final days of shooting on The Lego Movie, they’re leaving the script in the hands of Uziel so that it will be ready to go when they arrive to helm the 21 Jump Street sequel.
As soon as Uziel is finished with 21 Jump Street 2, he’ll be moving on to pen the script for Men in Black 4. Columbia Pictures Chief Doug Belgrad stated a while ago that he didn’t know what they were planning for the next sequel in the franchise, but that the financial performance of Men in Black 3 – which pulled in over $624 million at the worldwide box office – was more than enough to earn a greenlight for Men in Black 4.
The fact that they’ve hired Uziel as a writer either means that he made a good pitch for a new story or the producers have already decided which direction they want the franchise to go in and they feel that Uziel is the best writer for the job. The latter seems most likely, as Men in Black 3 director Barry Sonnenfeld stated in an interview with Syfy that Will Smith has already come up with an idea for the next film.
Uziel doesn’t have any feature release credits yet, but he wrote the short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and is attached to write the script for New Line Cinema’s Mortal Kombat reboot. He also wrote the script for forthcoming horror sci-fi The Kitchen Sink, in which a pair of teens ally themselves with vampires and zombies in order to fight off an army of aliens.
In a way, having a largely untested screenwriter working on both projects is more interesting than an established name, since it’s more difficult to know what to expect. The screenplay for Men In Black 3 was penned by Tropic Thunder co-writer Etan Cohen and the movie did reasonably well with both critics and audiences, but having just gone back in time it’s anyone’s guess what going forward will entail for the series.
21 Jump Street 2 is out in theaters on June 6, 2014. Men in Black 4 doesn’t have a release date yet but we’ll let you know when more details become available.
Source: The Wrap