21 and 22 Jump Street were surprisingly good comedies about two cops (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum) who generally bumble their way into success. The Men In Black series is similar, only with Will Smith playing the unorthodox methods alongside a hyper-efficient Tommy Lee Jones.
Over the last couple years, various reports have stated the two movie universes could converge into one big police comedy known as “MIB 23.” Now, it looks like MIB 23 may never make it onto the silver screen.
Jonah Hill recently said the likelihood MIB 23 gets made is slim:
“It’s too complicated,” Hill said. “They’re trying to make all the deals, but it’s kind of impossible with all the Men in Black stuff. The Jump Street films were so fun to make and the whole joke of them was they were making fun of remakes and sequels and reboots and then now it’s become a giant sequel, reboot. It’s almost become what we were making fun of and it’s hard to maintain that joke when it’s so high stakes.”
The first time it was made public Sony was thinking of this crossover was back in 2014 when the Sony email hack scandal came to light.
Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal’s emails, leaked during that email hack, discussed the possibility of the two movie universes coming together. Columbia Pictures production President Hannah Minghella also pointed out that while a script hasn’t been written, the concept had been given the greenlight.
The most recent installment in the Men in Black franchise was released in 2012. It cost $215 million dollars and made $624 million at the box office. 22 Jump Street meanwhile came out in 2014, cost $84.5 million to make, and made $331.3 million at the box office.
It would be a unique way to merge two franchises; while The Avengers was built with the strategy in mind, this would be akin to importing, say, the Ocean’s 11 gang into the Fast and the Furious franchise. But, though there are risks, there’s also the opportunity to make money, which is all that studios care about. (And, let’s be honest, they wouldn’t exactly be tampering with pure artistic visions in this case.)
With both franchises bringing in a lot of money and being pretty similar at their core, the idea of combining the two was appealing to Sony. There have been three MiB and two Jump Street films, so to have a new movie combing the two would keep them fresh.