During the infamous Sony hack last year, many of the headlines were courtesy of leaked emails pertaining to a possible deal between Marvel Studios and Sony (one that ultimately came to be) which would allow Peter Parker to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Spider-Man was hardly the only Sony franchise caught in the incident, as everything from James Bond to Ghostbusters saw information get out.
Arguably one of the strangest stories that broke in that time period was the idea that Sony was interested in producing a 21 Jump Street/Men in Black crossover film, combining two of their popular action-comedy franchises into one mega film. Though Phil Lord and Chris Miller maintained that film was still in the very early stages of development, we're now hearing Sony has indeed granted the project a green light. In addition, the studio has also approved a female-led Jump Street spinoff.
The Wrap broke the news, saying that Sony is hoping to expand the Jump Street brand with these two new movies. Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs of Broad City fame have been brought on board to pen the spinoff film, which is said to be striving for the same tone as the first two Jump Street films starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. As for the MIB crossover, no writers have been revealed yet - though Hill (who served as a writer for 21 and 22 Jump Street) may lend a helping hand for that screenplay.
Though many will agree that the epic end credits sequence of last year's 22 Jump Street could have been the perfect exclamation point for the series (with it showcasing faux sequels that got more and more ridiculous), it honestly shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Sony is interested in continuing the franchise. Jump Street has emerged as one of the more successful R-rated properties, with the two films earning critical acclaim and bringing in over $531 million at the worldwide box office. 22 Jump Street even beat family movie How to Train Your Dragon 2 in their opening weekend showdown last June.
Now that these films are properly in the pipeline, it will be interesting to see what acting talent Sony signs on. We would expect Hill and Tatum to return for the MIB crossover, but who may bring the galaxy defenders to life is a mystery for now. Obviously, fans would hope that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones would reprise their roles of Agents J and K from the MIB trilogy, but their participation is up in the air at this juncture. It may be difficult to bring Smith back in particular, as the Fresh Prince is about to become fully immersed in the DC cinematic universe thanks to next year's Suicide Squad. Depending on the extent of his contract with Warner Bros., he may not have enough free time.
The same can be said for the female spinoff. The Wrap mentions Dakota Johnson (who appeared in 21 Jump Street as a young police officer) as a possibility, but with the film being so early along in development, that's all speculation. Based on Sony's casting for its "female-driven" Ghostbusters reboot (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, etc.), it wouldn't be a shock for the studio to target established names to generate widespread interest in the movie. Let the fantasy casting begin, in the meantime.
In an industry seeing more and more shared universes come into fruition, some may scoff at the notion of Jump Street joining those ranks, but the possibilities this development presents certainly are intriguing. Seeing Schmidt and Jenko do battle with alien forces should keep their side of the world fresh (while perhaps revitalizing MIB), and giving audiences a new spin on the classic premise (with two lady comedic stars) has the potential to be entertaining - on paper, anyway.
With Hill, Tatum, Lord, and Miller all producing these new projects, we'd expect these films to turn out OK (with skewering social commentary to boot). After all, they seem to have a solid grasp on what works for this series.
We'll keep you updated on all future Jump Street projects as more information becomes available.
Source: The Wrap