'Men In Black' 'Jump Street' crossover no longer in development

Tom Butler
Senior Editor

A planned 21 Jump Street spin-off that would have seen Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s characters joining the Men In Black is not happening any more.

Talking to Empire Magazine about the tentatively titled MIB 23, Men In Black producer Walter Parkes said: “We gave it a shot. It turned out to be an impossible match-up.”

Intentions to develop a Men In Black-Jump Street crossover movie were first revealed in 2014 during the infamous Sony email hack scandal. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the writer-directors of the Jump Street films, were said to be working on a script that had undercover cops Schmidt and Janko joining the extra-terrestrial government agency. Jonah Hill called the idea clean and rad and powerful” in a leaked email to then-Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 06: 76th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: (l-r) Phil Lord and Chris Miller arrive to the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019. — (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Phil Lord, who wrote the script for the Golden Globe-winning Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, confirmed to MTV in 2014 that the crossover plan was real.

“It’s still a crazy idea,” said Lord, “and we only do things that seem like they’re going to be terrible.”

“We’re really focussing on what’s a great story for Schmidt and Jenko and how to tell the next chapter in their lives,” he added. “And perhaps use creatures from another world at the same time.”

Muppets Most Wanted director James Bobin was hired to helm the project in 2016, which was later revealed to be called MIB 23 by Sony Pictures at CinemaCon.

While promoting Disney’s Alice Through The Looking Glass, filmmaker Bobin told Yahoo Movies UK (watch above) that he found the idea of the crossover “interesting”, admitting that it would be a challenge to match up the comedic tones of both franchises.

Later in 2016 Jonah Hill conceded it was unlikely that MIB 23 would ever get made.

“I had the idea,” Hill told Postmedia Network. “But I doubt that movie will get made.”

“It’s too complicated. 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.”

Clearly that challenge proved unsurmountable as Sony Pictures instead moved forward with Men In Black International, a new Men In Black film starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in the leads.

In the February issue of Empire, Parkes describes the new film, which doesn’t feature original stars Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones, as “an international globetrotting thriller” adding that “it keeps that unique, hard-boiled, ironic tone.”

A female-led Jump Street spin-off is still in development, with Tiffany Haddish and Awkwafina linked with the lead roles.

Men In Black International is in cinemas from 14 June. Watch the trailer below.

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