The infamous Sony hack of 2014 brought forth news about the much-celebrated Marvel Studios/Sony partnership that allows Spider-Man to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the wall crawler's franchise wasn't the only one that made headlines. In a somewhat bizarre development, leaks indicated that the studio was keen on crossing over the Jump Street and Men in Black franchises, with Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller serving as producers.
Updates about the project have been few and far between since then, with the proposed film still "very, very early" in pre-production last spring. But now it looks like Sony is in fact moving along on Jump Street meets Men in Black, seeing they have entered negotiations with director James Bobin (The Muppets, Flight of the Conchords), someone who comes from a comedy background.
The news comes courtesy of Variety, who say that Bobin is in early talks with the studio to helm a 23 Jump Street/Men in Black crossover. Joining Lord and Miller as producers are Jump Street stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, who are also reprising their roles as Officers Schmidt and Jenko. The script was penned by 22 Jump Street writer Rodney Rothman, who has submitted a draft that's pleased the studio. It's noted that Sony has yet to give the movie a green light, but they're already eyeing a June 2016 start for principal photography.
With the Jump Street portion of the team-up represented, many will be wondering about the MIB. Variety mentions that Sony executives have nixed the idea of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones coming back to play Agents Jay and Kay once more. They want to use the film as a means of rebooting the brand with new blood, which is probably for the best. Smith, of course, is now heavily involved with the DC Extended Universe as Suicide Squad's Deadshot, and Jones' action days are most likely behind him. It wouldn't be practical to bring those two back, making the decision to bring in a younger cast all the more easier. There's a longterm plan in the works here, and it has to be sustainable.
While it will be upsetting for some to see Lord and Miller depart the director's chair on the Jump Street franchise, Bobin is a very suitable replacement. He earned a number of accolades for his work on Flight of the Conchords (including a handful of Emmy nominations), and The Muppets brought Jim Henson's beloved creations back to the limelight in style. The jury is still out on this summer's Alice Through the Looking Glass, but Bobin nevertheless has a strong résumé and should prove to be a good match for the material. It will be interesting to see what he can do, especially with a premise as whacky and far-out as this.
Given the hysterical credits sequence showcased in 22 Jump Street (which openly mocked the idea of further sequels), there are those who will be questioning if a Jump Street/Men in Black crossover is actually a good idea. It's a justifiable inquiry, but Sony is assembling a talented team to work on the film, so it's worth giving them the benefit of the doubt for now. After all, many were convinced the 21 Jump Street reboot was doomed to fail, and it ended up being one of the smartest, funniest comedies in some time. When Lord and Miller are involved in any capacity, it's wise to just wait and see.
We'll keep you updated on the Jump Street/Men in Black crossover as more information becomes available.