The popularity of the 21 Jump Street film franchise has inspired Sony Pictures to look at a variety of possibilities moving forward, including a crossover with its popular Men in Black movies. The studio appears to be serious about the idea; Sony is now in early talks with prospective director Muppets-helmer James Bobin, according to Variety.
Sources say the project hasn’t been greenlighted yet but that the studio would like to begin production in June. Should Bobin sign on to direct, he would pick take the baton from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who directed 21 Jump Street and its sequel, as well as Barry Sonnenfeld, who helmed Men in Black and its two follow-ups. Although another directing commitment makes Lord and Miller unable to return to direct, they are attached to produce alongside Neal Moritz.
21 Jump Street stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, who will be back for a third movie. They will reprise their roles as Schmidt and Jenko and as producers. New leads will be needed on the Men in Black side, though. Sony executives previously shared that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones will not co-star in the film. The studio is expected to go with newer talent to play the two secret agents.
Yet another Jump Street franchise alum was tapped to write the script. Rodney Rothman, who co-wrote 22 Jump Street, is said to have delivered the script. Sony is closely guarding plot details, so all we can do is speculate about what the storyline may focus on. We do, however, know that the studio is reportedly happy with what Rothman came up with.
It also remains to be seen whether or not Bobin will end up directing the franchise mashup. His resume includes working as an writer and director on Da Ali G Show starring Sacha Baron Cohen, co-creating the HBO series Flight of the Concords, directing Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, and more.