This year’s 22 Jump Street riffs numerous times on the idea of the continued franchising of the Jump Street brand, before it culminates in an end credits sequence that (as our Kofi Outlaw put it in his review of the sequel) “all but confirms the fact that the filmmakers, too, know that the Jump Street well has been drained dry after two runs.” Apparently, the top executives at Sony/Columbia Pictures didn’t stay for the credits when they saw the film (and instead paid attention to the movie’s $320 million worldwide gross on a $50 million budget), because now 23 Jump Street is moving forward… for real.
Deadline is reporting that 22 Jump Street co-writer Rodney Rothman has been set to work on the 23 Jump Street movie screenplay, with 21 and 22 Jump Street helmsmen Phil Lord and Chris Miller overseeing the script development process as producers. The Deadline article mentions that the 23 Jump Street directing job is Lord and Miller’s “if they want it,” but as of right now they are not attached to call the shots on the film – nor is anyone else, for that matter.
Lord and Miller, however, are not sure to return as directors on the third Jump Street movie. The pair have already proven that they’re willing to turn down big offers from studios at this point in their careers, as happened earlier this year when they passed on directing Ghostbusters 3, based on the claim that they’re looking to “take a break” after releasing The LEGO Movie and 22 Jump Street less than six months. Lord and Miller have also been set as executive producers on an upcoming reboot of the Greatest American Hero TV show, so that “break” is going to be short-lived, as is.
Lord and Miler started off their feature-length directing career with the animated hit Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs before they worked on the Cloudy sequel as producers only, and they are doing the same thing with the developing LEGO Movie followup. It’s possible they will also elect to handoff directing responsibilities on 23 Jump Street to someone else, as they step back to serve as just producers (alongside the series’ lead Channing Tatum and costar/co-writer Jonah Hill).
Question is, whether it’s Lord and Miller or somebody(s) else who direct, what else is there to do with the Jump Street property? 21 Jump Street the movie is an enjoyable buddy-cop movie full of clever cultural commentary and self-aware humor, while 22 Jump Street is practically a self-conscious spoof of itself (and the industry that gave rise to it). At this stage, it doesn’t feel like 23 Jump Street has the potential to allow for similar genuine creativity and artistic expression – just more $$$.
… Then again, both of the Jump Street movies produced so far were able to surpass expectations and become something quite special, so maybe 23 Jump Street could manage likewise. If Lord and Miller end up deciding to direct the film, then we’ll have all the more reason to not bet against it turning out decent.
We’ll keep you posted on development of 23 Jump Street as more information becomes available.