The Canceled 'Men In Black'/'Jump Street' Crossover Sounds Surprisingly Good
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21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street, those buddy cop movies about Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum infiltrating educational establishments, raked in a combined $530 million at the box office and an "EXTREME fresh" score of
1nice% 169% at Rotten Tomatoes, so it's fair to call them a success. But then, the Jump Street-verse kinda wrote itself into a corner with the end of the second movie, which made fun of every single sequel idea they could possibly do next on this franchise, including 25 Jump Street: A Semester at Sea, 38 Jump Street: Dance Academy, or 43 Jump Street: Mariachi School.
So, the logical solution was to do a sequel in another franchise. This one:
The possibility of a Men In Black / 21 Jump Street crossover was first revealed in 2014 when a bunch of private Sony emails got leaked by hackers who are either very fond of Kim Jong-un or very un-fond of Seth Rogen and James Franco. At the time, we at Cracked were, uh, not impressed. We pointed out that "it's easy to see the appeal for the studio -- not only can they continue making crappy sequels but also combine those sequels with other sequels to increase the potential output of crap by a factor of thousands. Win-win!"
But, while time proved us right on the foolishness of trying to squeeze more milk out of Men In Black's mummified teat (see: Men In Black: International), new details have emerged about the crossover which actually make it sound quite palatable. One concern about the movie was that Jump directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller would basically sign a piece of paper and sit back to count their executive producer cash, but in a recent interview with the HAPPY SAD CONFUSED podcast, they both sound pretty excited about the project:
According to Miller, the Jump characters would have been in the middle of their "medical school adventure" (which we're taking to mean that ALL those sequel ideas are canon) when they get "embroiled into the world of Men In Black" and eventually team up with some agents to "stop an alien takeover type of thing." They would even be granted their MiB suits, except they'd be "powder blue" because you have to work your way up to the black ones, like with karate belts. So far, everything makes it sound more like 21 Jump Street with aliens than a true Men In Black sequel, which is good (see: all Men In Black sequels, actually).
Tatum has also talked about the project recently and we get the impression he's also enthusiastic about it, judging by phrases like "one of the funniest scripts I've ever read" and "by and away, the best third sequel to any franchise that I've ever read, in my entire life." He says he's still willing to do it but doesn't sound very convinced it will ever happen, since it can be complicated to satiate the egos and pockets of all producers involved -- including Steven Spielberg, whose producing fee is probably more expensive than booking an actual flight to space.
Another potential problem is that Hill didn't sound totally on board with the idea when he talked about the project in 2016. Despite calling the script "really funny," he described the movie as a dumb idea to make fun of cash-in sequels that was slowly turning into the very thing it was parodying the more expensive the project got. Perhaps the solution is to simply ditch Men In Black (which we, as a society, should have done a long time ago) and do a 21 Jump Street movie in a generic sci-fi context. Hey, they even have a name for it already:
In fact, the more we think about it, the more the Men In Black IP seems like a negligible part of this equation ... unless they can get Will Smith to do the theme song, of course.
Top image: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures