Lots of news is breaking from CinemaCon in LA this week. One announcement is a film I never believed I’d actually see despite the rumors circling last April. It turns out that Sony is officially moving forward with a movie that would act as a crossover for two of their more popular franchises, 21 Jump Street and Men in Black. The movie will be called MIB 23.
Part of the success of the 21 Jump Street franchise has been its ability to make fun of what it is. The first film mocked the fact it was adapted from a television show and the sequel had jokes that ridiculed common trends in sequels. The closing credits of 22 Jump Street contained posters of joke sequels to the franchise including stuff like Medical School, Foreign Exchange Student, Beauty School, etc. Even though both movies performed well at the box office and were well received critically, it appeared as though the franchise would end there. I guess they found an idea that was so outrageous that they couldn’t pass it up. This type of crossover allows them to mock a totally different subgenre without simply being another slightly different sequel.
There’s no word on whether Will Smith and/or Tommy Lee Jones would return to play their Men in Black characters, but the expectation from the online community is no (unless in a brief cameo). Instead we will be seeing Hill and Tatum’s Schmidt and Jenko enlisting in the Men in Black organization.
I’ll admit that I enjoyed both films (I’ll basically see anything directing/writing team Chris Miller and Phil Lord come out with at this point) and loved how that played with the tropes of the genre. I don’t know if they are back on board for this movie, but if they are and if they can pull off something similar to poke fun at crossovers then I’m in.