Jonah Hill In 21 Jump Street

By Katey Rich 2008-05-14 10:27:35discussion comments
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OK, I know there’s been lots of chatter bemoaning the fact that Judd Apatow’s takeover of comedy has meant replacing the hunks of yesterday with the schlubs of tomorrow. But are we really so far gone that we actually replace Johnny Depp with Jonah Hill? Well, maybe. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Hill is developing an adaptation of 21 Jump Street, the late-80s TV show that first introduced us to Depp’s smoldering eyes and abilities as an undercover cop. Sony, the production company, isn’t saying whether or not Hill will be in it, but he will most definitely serve as screenwriter and executive producer.

They also won’t tell us whether or not it will be a serious remake of the series or a comedic spin, but come on, what do you think? Jonah Hill + high school + cops = comedic bliss in the minds of all Americans, at least until we forget about Superbad (not likely). As EW wrote, “it's probably safe to say that this new version won't be featuring any earnest public service announcements, as the series often did.” Though, honestly, I can see plenty of faux-honest public service announcements making their way in there.

We could take this moment to whine about Hollywood recycling old ideas and so forth, but I think the real concern might be getting Hill’s target audience to remember 21 Jump Street to begin with. I sure don’t, and I’m Hill’s age. The show went off the air in 1991, when I was seven years old, and today’s 17-year-olds, the people who made Superbad a massive hit, were busy being born. Can you cash in on nostalgia among people who don’t remember the original? I mean, eight-year-olds who were born 10 years after the Alvin and the Chipmunks boom flocked to the movie version last December, so anything is possible. But Jonah Hill is going to have to stay in our good graces until this comes out to make sure anyone has interest in this retread.
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