How Jump Street Will Mix With Men In Black, According To The Director

Pop culture history is filled with all kinds of bizarre crossovers… and there is another one currently in the mix from director James Bobin. As a way of extending both the Jump Street and Men in Black franchises, Sony Pictures is in the process of bringing the two diverse worlds together in MIB 23, which promises to mash up the buddy cop comedy and sci-fi action into a strange, big new blockbuster. It’s a project that isn’t without its specific challenges, and Bobin recently revealed to us that the key trick to bringing it all together will be about capturing the right tone.

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of sitting down with James Bobin to talk about his work on the upcoming Alice Through The Looking Glass (more on that coming soon), but at the end of the interview I took the opportunity to ask about his work on MIB 23. I noted that bringing together the disparate worlds must be a complex task, and the director whole-heartedly agreed – but said with confidence that it was the developing script for the movie that helped him realize how great an idea it actually is. Said Bobin,

The challenge is a tonal challenge. It really is. Because both worlds are so fantastic, and then it’s one of those things where you think, ‘How is this possibly going to work?’ And then you read the script and go, ‘I get it! This is amazing!’ It’s fantastic and it’s really fun. In a way I’m trying to imagine neither of those things exist before, and then what would it be together., and that ends with a very interesting place to be. But I love both worlds very much, and Jonah [Hill] and Channing [Tatum] are hilarious, so they’ll be just, you know!

It’s true that on the surface there is a considerable amount of distance between the Jump Street and Men In Black franchises. The former is comedy-driven action centered around young-looking cops infiltrating centers of education; and the latter is the fun tale of a secret organization that keeps our entire planet safe from extraterrestrial invaders. Add in the fact that MIB 23 will be factoring in the continuity of both franchises – including all the fake sequels from the end of 22 Jump Street - and you have what seems like a very risky task, but what the two series have in common is a great sense of fun and humor, which one can definitely imagine being used as the catalyst to bring them both together.

Of course, James Bobin knows a thing or two about comedy, not only bringing us the two most recent Muppets titles, but also spending years as a writer, producer, and/or director on both Flight Of the Conchords and Da Ali G Show. For MIB 23, he’ll be working from a script by 22 Jump Street co-scribe Rodney Rothman; has Phil Lord and Chris Miller on-board as producers, and – as mentioned – has both Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum attached to star. That’s quite a bit of comedy power for one project.

Are you excited for MIB 23? How do you envision the two movies working together? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts, and stay tuned for more info about the project here on Cinema Blend!

Alice Through The Looking Glass will be in theaters on May 27th.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.