Columbia's Doug Belgrad Talks 'Men in Black 4' & '21 Jump Street' Sequel

Columbia Pictures Chief Douglas Belgrad says a fourth 'Men in Black' movie is probably going to happen, and the '21 Jump Street' sequel starts shooting later this year.

Sony planning Men in Black 4

There are numerous sequels in development over at Sony/Columbia - including Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and a 21 Jump Street sequel. Moreover, a fourth Men in Black movie is now a stronger possibility than ever (thanks to MIB 3's $615 million worldwide gross).

Columbia Pictures Chief Douglas Belgrad has confirmed that Men in Black IV is indeed being planned, though there's some question as to to what form it will take (more on that in a moment). Meanwhile, the still-untitled 21 Jump Street follow-up is being fast-tracked to begin production before the year's end.

Belgrad discussed that pair of action-comedies with The Hollywood Reporter, saying:

"There are very few actors... who can do romance, action and comedy. We're in business with two of them, Channing Tatum and Will Smith... We're very pleased with the financial performance of 'Men in Black 3', and we believe it is an ongoing franchise. We're going to do [another one], but we don't have clarity yet on how it should be done."

MIB series director Barry Sonnenfeld previously suggested that a fourth installment could take on the form of a reboot, following the emotionally-satisfying payoff to the relationship between Agents K (Tommy Lee Jones) and J (Will Smith) provided by MIB 3. Makeup artist Rick Baker alluded to the idea that Josh Brolin as a younger Agent K could become the focus in future films - but that might've been pure speculation on his part.

21 Jump Street sequel to begin production by Fall 2012
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill will return for '21 Jump Street 2'

That said, Jones and Smith don't appear to be all that invested in continuing to work on the MIB franchise (and it arguably showed with their performances in MIB 3). Sony/Columbia could conceivably push for a fourth movie where the duo "pass the torch" to a pair of fresh faces, who'd headline the series from there on out.

21 Jump Street's Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, by comparison, are scaling the heights of fame right now - and the latter began working on the story/script for a sequel well before the average moviegoer had any idea a follow-up to a reboot of a 1980s TV show was something they even wanted. So the duo will definitely be back in full for 21 Jump Street 2 (or whatever it ends up being titled - 22nd Jump Street, perhaps?).

Belgrad said the 21 Jump Street sequel is slated to start principal photography this fall, presumably some time after Hill has wrapped his role on Martin Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street (and either before or after Tatum sets to work on White House Down). There's no word yet on whether directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller will return to call the shots.

21 Jump Street tops the box office

The 21 Jump Street movie is one of those small miracles where all the elements clicked into place, making for a surprisingly entertaining contemporary take on an outlandish property (an unknown one, for a younger generation). There are similarities between that film and the first Men in Black - though, the latter was more bankable on paper, with Smith fresh off Independence Day.

Getting to the point: the MIB sequels have done well at the box office, but failed to recapture the "magic" of the first movie (in this writer's opinion, anyway). It's difficult to not suspect that MIB 4 will continue that trend - and 21 Jump Street 2 could likewise prove to be an example of diminishing returns. Here's hoping for the best, all the same.

We'll keep you updated on Men in Black IV and 21 Jump Street 2.


Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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