Among all the things revealed in the Sony computer hacking story back in late 2014, one of the odder ones was that the studio was planning on a crossover film between their 21 Jump Street and Men In Black franchises. Referred to as 23 Jump Street, it struck me as a strange combination, as the tones of the two comedies don’t quite match up. But Sony had enough faith in the idea to continue forward, and are now at the point where they are talking with The Muppets director James Bobin on taking the helm of the project.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who previously directed both 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street, are handing over the reins due to their commitment to Disney’s “Young Han Solo” Star Wars spin-off film.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sony is pleased with the screenplay that Rodney Rothman has been working on over the past year and is hoping to have cameras rolling by June. It is worrying, though, that the studio is looking for a production start just four months away and they have not already locked down a director for the project. It doesn’t strike me as enough time to prep a film like this which would undoubtedly have numerous elements needing to be designed and built. If Bobin were to pass, that would shrink that prep time further, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony at that point would push back the start date.
Needless to say, Sony is holding the plot details for this fairly close their chest, with the Reporter stating that anyone who wishes to read the script has to travel to the studio to do so. But since one franchise is about cops who go undercover in high schools and colleges and the other is about cops who police aliens who live in secret here on Earth, I think we have a good idea as to what the broad strokes of the film’s storyline.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are set to return to their Jump Street roles as Jenko and Schmidt. It was an email discovered in the Sony hack about Hill’s participation in the film that first revealed its existence. However, Men In Black stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are not reprising their roles from their films, with the studio hoping that this film will relaunch the Men In Black franchise. As such, they are currently looking for two new actors to fill Smith and Jones’s dark suits and sunglasses.