Those leaked e-mails from Sony are the gift that keep on giving. Not only did they shed light on the reality that Sony is struggling with what exactly they want to do with the Spider-Man franchise, it seems that all the bad ideas in the studio’s development department are not reserved for your friendly neighborhood web-slinger. In a world where cash is king and studios are so risk averse that anything with even the slightest bit of name cachet is more likely to get investment than a provocative original idea, some people at Sony thought it was fish in a barrel time when they considered teaming up two of their biggest franchises. One is Men in Black, the veritable action comedy series about alien policing secret agents. The other is 21/22 Jump Street, the action comedy about doofus cops who work undercover at high school then college. What could possibly go wrong?
According to the Wall Street Journal, who parsed the e-mails looking for gold nuggets like this one, this actually was/is something Sony’s been working on. Apparently, this was no mere brainstorming session either, discussions had already begun between actors, producers and studio execs, and it seemed to involve Jump Street directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord at some point too. Yes, Miller and Lord wanted no part of Ghostbusters III, but producing and possibly directing a “Men in Black Street” was an offer they couldn’t refuse.
The e-mails also revealed that it was unlikely that MiB stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones would return for the crossover, which begs the question: would Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum come aboard? I hate to say it, but I can almost see the project now: Hill and Tatum’s Jumps Street characters Schmidt and Jenko are down on their luck, booted out of the police department, until an alien encounter suddenly introduces them to the Men in Black, who then recruit the pair to work for the alien law enforcement organization and have wacky special effects-filled adventures. It practically writes itself!
What doesn’t write itself though is the check. Although the Jump Street movies have been big yet economical business for Sony, the last Men in Black film was widely regarded as a failure creatively and financially. Perhaps Sony is on to something here, using one franchise to rejuvenate the other because both Men in Black and 21 Jump Street are, in essence, buddy cop movies. This is either one of the most genius moves in movie marketing history or a disaster waiting to happen, and that’s a really thin line.
Obviously Sony’s had no comment about the leaks, and it’s pretty unlikely they will have one either. The whole episode has been a wicked black eye on the company, to have not just their product (meaning movies), but their development process laid bare on the internet for every Tom, Dick and Harry to see… Not good. I for one hold up some hope for “Men in Black Street.” If it’s good, great, and if it’s terrible, it will be so much fun to give it an internet hatchet job. It’s really six of one, half dozen of another.
Source: Comic Book.com