It's been two years since Columbia Pictures gave us Men In Black III, the third installment in the blockbuster franchise that we waited 10 years to see. Despite grossing more than $600 million worldwide, the film actually ended up losing money for Columbia and its parent company Sony, and fans weren't exactly clamoring for another followup flick (maybe it was the lack of a Will Smith rap this time out). So, no MIB 4, but that doesn't mean the franchise can't resurrect itself through other means.
According to emails from and to Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal leaked online by hackers this week (the same hackers who revealed talk of Spider-Man returning to Marvel Studios), the studio is set to return to the Men In Black universe by crossing it over with 23 Jump Street, the third installment in the buddy-cop comedy franchise starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. 22 Jump Street, which hit theaters earlier this year, grossed more than $300 million worldwide and earned critical acclaim for its irreverence and self-aware sequel humor, so a third installment is a high priority for the studio, and apparently Hill (who is also one of the franchise's producers) is keen on the crossover idea.
“jump street merging with mib i think that’s clean and rad and powerful," Hill wrote to Pascal.
There aren't too many details on exactly how this will happen, or when, but the Wall Street Journal reports that Sony would like to release the film in 2016 or 2017, and that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who helmed both previous installments, would likely return to at least produce the film, and possibly direct it. The film also reportedly wouldn't feature Men In Black stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, at least not in major roles.
It's really not that weird to think about Jump Street taking on Men In Black. The first two films have created a fun, anything-can-happen comedy environment, so watching Hill and Tatum take on aliens could in same ways seem like the next logical step. What's really interesting here is what this could mean for the MIB franchise. According to Sony's president of worldwide business affairs and operations Andrew Gumpert, writing to an attorney for MIB executive producer Steven Spielberg, the studio sees this as an opportunity to reintroduce the franchise and eventually create new Men In Black films.
“We didn’t do as well as we had hoped for on the last MIB film, but that hasn’t caused us to lose faith in the franchise," Gumper said. "In reality, the exact opposite has occurred where we all have an opportunity to take an interim step on the way to hopefully forging ahead again in the pure-play MIB universe.”
Whether or not that actually happens, of course, remains to be seen.
What do you think? Could a Jump Street/Men In Black film work?
(Via The Wall Street Journal)