New studio head Tom Rothman continues to make moves at Sony Pictures. Next on his list is the Jump Street franchise, which Sony plans to expand with a spinoff and a crossover installment, both which are in development simultaneously. The Wrap reports that Broad City writers Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs are scripting a female-driven Jump Street spinoff that will maintain the tone of 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street, while Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum will continue their side of the franchise with a Men in Black crossover, which we first heard about last year.
Under the creative direction of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street were hilarious commentaries on reboots and sequels, respectively. For the Men in Black crossover, the idea is to send up the current trend of shared universes. This blending of two of Sony’s biggest franchises will find Hill and Tatum investigating aliens, which in and of itself sounds like a brilliant idea.
And as for the female-driven spinoff movie, Aniello and Downs have proven to be fantastic comedic talents on the Comedy Central series Broad City, and one imagines they’ll do a swell job crafting a new film in the Jump Street universe. If they don’t bring back Jillian Bell from 22 Jump Street, however, that’s a massive missed opportunity.
What’s unclear right now is how intimately Lord and Miller will be involved with either of these films. They’re being shepherded by producer Neal Moritz, Hill, Tatum, Lord, and Miller, but they don’t yet have directors. The filmmaking duo are incredibly in demand at the moment after the success of Jump Street and The LEGO Movie. They’re apparently being courted to work on one of Sony’s Ghostbusters movies—likely the potential action-centric one starring Tatum and Chris Pratt, which would lead to a crossover movie with the cast of Paul Feig’s female-centric film. They’re also crafting an outline at Warner Bros. for The Flash movie, with the studio hoping they decide to direct, and are developing an animated Spider-Man movie at Sony. And all of this is on top of their screenplay duties for The LEGO Movie Sequel and producing duties on the other LEGO Movie spinoffs.
It’s at once an enviable and difficult position, as Lord and Miller are being pulled in a number of different directions. They haven’t yet chosen their next directorial effort, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they step back and simply produce the Jump Street/Men in Black crossover film and let someone else direct. Whatever the case, they’re super talented guys and I look forward to seeing what they land on as their next directorial effort.