Universal has tapped a writer to develop screenplays for two action-comedy sequels. Oren Uziel will be handling the scripting chores for 21 Jump Street 2 and Men In Black 4.
Although both films earned only middling reviews, they certainly sold enough tickets for the studio to believe that a follow up was in order. Last summer’s Men In Black 3 grossed $625 million worldwide last summer while 21 Jump Street grossed $138 million against a budget of just $42 million.
Uziel will start work on the 21 Jump Street sequel while directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller concentrate on finishing up The Lego Movie for Warner Bros. According to The Wrap, the story will focus on Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s characters graduating from going under cover in a high school to ferret out crime to heading to a college campus to do the same. The plotline that Uziel pitched to the studio that landed him the job on Men In Black 4 is being kept under wraps.
Although Uziel has yet to have a feature screenplay produced, his spec script Kitchen Sink, about a teenager, a vampire and a zombie team up to fight off an alien invasion, made it onto the 2010 Black List. As you may guess, it is a rather fun science-fiction comedy and having read it I find myself thinking that Uziel is a good choice for Men In Black. Given the problems that the last film in the franchise had at the script stage I think it could definitely use the fresh, energetic blood he could bring.