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When it was first announced that Sony was considering a crossover movie that would combine 21 Jump Street with Men in Black, the world performed a collective head scratching. It was a joke, right? It was some executive’s crazy idea that nobody was really expecting would survive? Even if that’s exactly what it was, it doesn’t really matter, because now it’s real. It has a name. It has a logo. This movie is coming. Get ready for MIB 23.
Sony’s plans for the comedy crossover were first released as part of the e-mail hacking scandal from just over a year ago. At the time it just felt like a strange window into the internal workings of an idea factory. Now, it’s much more. Screen Rant has the story that at Sony’s panel at Cinemacon this week, the studio officially announced MIB 23 as part of their upcoming slate. Little is known for sure about the title but it’s being reported that the studio is looking at James Bobin to direct and the 21 Jump Street team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller are already attached to produce. This will all be getting underway fairly soon as principal photography could begin as soon as this June.
At this point, it sounds like the movie will be more of a direct sequel in the Jump Street franchise that will just happen to include aspects of Men in Black. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are expected to return, but it doesn’t sound like they’re planning on bringing in Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones from the other side of the equation. Instead, it looks like the plan will be to use MIB 23 as a vehicle to reboot the Men in Black franchise with new agents. It’ll be like a spinoff. Like back when Richard Grieco's character from the original 21 Jump Street series briefly got his own show, Booker. Anyone? Am I the only one that remembers this? Apparently.
You might be wondering what the hell people are thinking, but to be honest, everybody had the same thought when they turned 21 Jump Street into a movie the first time, and it worked. Additionally, Phil Lord and Chris Miller turned what could have been a two hour commercial for toys into one of the most insanely inventive films in recent memory with The Lego Movie. There’s no way in hell that this should work, but that certainly doesn’t mean it won’t.
We’ll mark ourselves as "cautiously optimistic" for this one. How about you? Are you excited or terrified for MIB 23?