[Update 12/6: The original lead paragraph of this story described the new Jump Street movie as a “reboot,” but sources have reached out to clarify that it is, indeed, a “continuation” of the current film franchise, albeit with two new leads. We have updated the story below, and I regret the error.]
Tiffany Haddish is one of the hottest names in comedy at the moment and multiple sources have told Collider that the Girls Trip star is in talks for one of the new leads in Sony’s female-driven 21 Jump Street movie. Sony had no comment.
Rodney Rothman (22 Jump Street) is writing and directing the film, while Phil Lord and Chris Miller are expected to return as producers. Now, we know what you’re thinking. At 39 years old, isn’t Haddish a little old to be playing an undercover cop infiltrating a high school? Well, yes… if she was playing a student. But Collider hears that Haddish is going to play a teacher this time around, possibly posing as the mother of a new student — and fellow undercover cop.
As far as that role goes, multiple sources say that Awkwafina is at the top of Sony’s list, and for months I’ve heard that executives over there are big fans of the Crazy Rich Asians actress, who has also been considered for a supporting role in Sony’s Jumanji sequel.
Regardless of who stars opposite Haddish, Sony is looking to rebuild its Jump Street franchise around the breakout star of Girls Trip ($140 million worldwide), who most recently starred opposite newly-minted Oscars host Kevin Hart in another academia-set comedy, Night School, which grossed over $100 million worldwide. She has established herself as a true force of nature in the comedy world, and it makes sense that Sony would entrust her with one of its major franchises — something that Haddish doesn’t have on her budding resume unless you want to count voice roles in sequels to the animated hits The LEGO Movie and The Secret Life of Pets. The idea of pairing her with a fellow comic dynamo like Awkwafina is genuinely exciting, and hopefully Sony can figure out a way for them to partner up on the Jump Street force.
Sony has been eager to cater to female audiences and a female-driven Jump Street movie would join Charlie’s Angels and Little Women on its slate. “We’ve had enough male buddy comedies. The script is really funny and has a freshness to it,” Sony’s Sanford Panitch told Variety earlier this year. In any case, Sony has abandoned its plan to mash-up the Jump Street franchise with the Men in Black franchise, which is getting its own cast reboot next year led by Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson.
Haddish next stars alongside Melissa McCarthy and Elisabeth Moss in New Line’s crime drama The Kitchen, which will see her flex her dramatic chops. She’ll also star opposite Rose Byrne in the Paramount comedy Limited Partners. Haddish, who continues to star in the TBS sitcom The Last O.G., is represented by APA and Artists First, the latter of which also reps Awkwafina. Reps for both actresses did not respond to a request for comment.