Way back (a couple of years ago) when word came out through the Sony email hack that the studio was developing a crossover between Men in Black and 21 Jump Street we were all unanimous in our appraisal that while Sony may have been floating a trial balloon internally, it would almost certainly be too preposterous to pursue. Shows what we know. Now, the MiB/Jump Street crossover is so real that Sony is now actively promoting its development, and in front of theater owners yesterday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, they actually gave it a title. On the other hand, they also announced the involvement of a pair of key figures that should mitigate fan concerns.
For the record, those figures are not named “Smith” and “Jones.” Rather 21 and 22 Jump Street co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were confirmed to be on the project as producers for what’s now being called MiB23. Obviously Lord and Miller are too busy with a little project about young Han Solo to get directly behind the camera for MiB23, but rumor has it that Muppets director James Bobin is the frontrunner for the job. It’s also worth noting that Jump Street stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have also yet to sign on.
So it makes you wonder the exact status of the project: Is Sony super-stoked about MiB23 and everything is coming together behind the scenes but is just not ready yet to announce, or are they trying to develop audience appetite for the project by making it look like a done deal. We know that Sony is hungry for a franchise, which is why they’re going full-speed ahead with Venom and other potential Spider-Man spin-offs that will be unaffiliated with the new Spider-Man movie and its connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Combining the profitability of Jump Street and the name recognition of Men in Black makes a certain kind of money sense, even if it still doesn’t make a lot of sense on paper.
Anyway, we’ll keep you posed on any new developments regarding the newly rechristened MiB23.