Bringing an end to the radio silence, Sony Pictures has issued a statement of intent regarding the future of its lucrative Jump Street franchise.
Contrary to previous reports, the mooted crossover with Men in Black is still on the table, while Deadline reports that writer-director Rodney Rothman has been brought in to spearhead the female-led spinoff to 21 Jump Street.
Replacing Jenko and Schmidt with two leading ladies – rumored to be Dakota Johnson and Rye Rye’s ancillary characters from the 2012 original – there’s nary a mention of how the story will pan out. For instance, will it be a tit-for-tat remake? Or, in the more likely scenario, a spinoff that retains a similar formula to Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s wildly over-the-top actioner?
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One thing Deadline does reveal is that sources close to production say male characters will be involved in Rothman’s offshoot. Perhaps Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill – or even Ice Cube’s barking mad Captain Dickson – will swing by for a cameo? Rothman, who co-wrote 22 Jump Street, will now begin fleshing out the concept.
Despite the toxic, asinine backlash directed at Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters redo earlier in the year, gender-swapping remains a relatively popular shtick for Hollywood studios. Splash, for example, is poised to flip expectations on their head by having Channing Tatum play the part of the mermaid, and Jillian Bell as the lovestruck human. On paper, it’s a fun way to toy with preconceptions about existing stories, so long as it’s not just change for the sake of change.
When it comes to this female-fronted 21 Jump Street, it’s far too early to gauge how successful Rothman’s spinoff may or may not be. But rest assured, it’s on the way – as is MIB 23, despite Jonah Hill writing off the franchise crossover.