Speculated during the Sony hack fracas, the studio appears on track to committing a crossover film that would meld two of Sony’s most lucrative franchises – 21 Jump Street and Men in Black. An odd pairing of titles, but a further display that Sony is making a clear and aggressive effort to revitalize after a shaky few years.
Currently, director James Bobin appears to be courted to helm the the MiB-flavored 23 Jump Street. Bobin, who first made an impression with Flight of the Conchords, directed the Oscar-winning 2011 reboot The Muppets (as well as the follow-up Muppets Most Wanted) and has the upcoming Alice Through the Looking Glass (the sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) opening this May. Bobin would be stepping in for original 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who are moving onto Star Wars terrain and set to helm the upcoming Hans Solo standalone feature.
Lord and Miller are still on board as producers. Rodney Rothman (22 Jump Street) will pen the script. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum would reprise roles of Jenko and Schmidt however Men in Black figureheads Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are not expected to be involved; not casting choices have been speculated as of yet. 23 Jump Street, according to Variety, hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but Sony may be aiming for a production start date as early as this summer.
This is not the only film that Sony is aggressively pumping, nor the only franchise-igniter (or re-igniter as it were). Along with 23 Jump Street, Sony has a plentiful stock of titles in various degrees of development over the next few years. Among them are Bad Boys 3 (which looks to re-team Will Smith and Martin Lawrence), the Idris Elba-headlined The Dark Tower, a live-action Barbie film, upcoming sequels to The Equalizer, Resident Evil, Trainspotting and a rebooted Jumanji. Sony also has the rebooted-for-the-second-time Spider-Man set for release in 2017. Speaking of Spider-Man, Sony also appears to be moving forward on the Spidey spin-off feature Venom. The character first appeared in Spider-Man 3 (played by Topher Grace); the studio has Dante Harper in line to pen the screenplay.
A lot to uncork here, but we will stay tuned to the latest developments.