Monday, March 7, 2016

'Muppets' director James Bobin in talks for 'Men in Black/21 Jump Street' crossover film

21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street are, without a doubt, two of the most pleasant comedic surprises I've ever experienced. The first time around, people treated 21 Jump Street as a total joke. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in a light-hearted reboot of a cheesy 1980's TV show? It sounded like a trainwreck waiting to happen. Audiences and critics were equally surprised when the film turned out to be phenomenal, a hysterical buddy cop comedy filled with heart and energy. 21 Jump Street made just over $200 million at the worldwide box office and became somewhat of a teen favorite. But people were immediately skeptical of the sequel. Comedy follow-ups had always been notoriously terrible, and 22 Jump Street seemed like another Hangover Part II on paper. Once again, as a surprise to everyone, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller came through in the clutch and delivered a sharp, meta deconstruction of the comedy sequel. However, the ending left Sony in a tricky spot. The end credits of 22 Jump Street featured a series of mock trailers for the presumed Jump Street sequels, going from 23 all the way to 41 Jump Street and beyond. After making fun of Hollywood's money-grubbing practices, could Sony really go and do more sequels?

They quickly found a way around it in the form of the Men in Black franchise, formerly one of Sony's prize jewels. In 2012, Men in Black 3 made $624 million off a massive $225 million budget, effectively stagnating the franchise. However, rumors began to swirl during the email hack that Sony was considering a crossover film with the Jump Street franchise, an idea that many seemed to be on board with back in April 2015. We didn't hear much more about the film in the months afterwards, but now, Variety has released an exclusive report announcing that production on the Men in Black/Jump Street crossover will be starting soon.

In the report, Variety discloses that The Muppets director James Bobin is in talks with the studio to take over for Lord and Miller. In addition, Tatum and Hill will reprise their roles, while the studio searches for replacements for Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith before the targeted June production date. The script is written by Rodney Rothman with no current plot details being revealed at this moment.

After quite a long period of radio silence, the Variety article was refreshing to read as I was very pumped for this project when the rumors started to come out. We've reached an incredibly interesting point in the history of Hollywood and if this does well, crossovers will become all the rage. The rating will be interesting (MIB is a PG-13 franchise, Jump Street is R), but other than that, these franchises are a truly perfect match- it's going to be so much fun to see Schmidt and Jenko taking on aliens. I love this idea with a passion, and with Bobin in the director's chair, a good script and the right casting, this could be a four-quadrant smash hit. Look for more news on this one in the coming weeks.

Source: Variety
Image Credits: Hollywood Reporter, Joblo

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