As first reported in December 2014 when the Sony e-mail hacks was the biggest news story, there was word that the studio wanted to do a crossover with two of their most lucrative franchises, Men in Black and the Jump Street. Those discussions became a reality when Phil Lord and Chris Miller expressed their intrigue at the idea. The idea was to have Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reprise their respective roles for a sequel that would take aim at shared universes. But with Lord and Miller now directing the untitled young Han Solo Star Wars spinoff starring Alden Ehrenreich, the crossover would have to find a new director.
While on the international press tour for Alice Through The Looking Glass, director James Bobin (The Muppets) confirmed that he will be the one to direct the crossover sequel, which will be titled MiB 23. More on the story below.
Bobin confirmed that he will direct the crossover to Collider. Lord and Miller were behind the first two Jump Street films. The themes of those two films have been a jab at the idea of studios constantly rebooting and sequelizing. So it seems fitting that the third one targets the idea of shared universes and crossovers, since those are all the rage now.
Bobin was actually named one of the frontrunners to direct the film back in March. The director also told the site that he expects to start shooting the film later this year. While Tatum and Hill have yet to officially sign on to reprise their roles in the crossover and will most likely be producers on the film as well. Both their schedules appear to be open, with the former’s Gambit film recently being pulled off the schedule by Fox.
Studio executives have made it clear that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones will not return to reprise their roles and Jay and Kay, respectively, as they want to approach the Men in Black crossover with fresh faces. But just like Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise did in 21 Jump Street, you can probably expect Smith and Jones to make a cameo. And who knows, maybe if the script is any good, Sony might want to bring in Smith and Jones to reprise their roles in a larger capacity.
In addition to Alice Through the Looking Glass, Bobin has directed a reboot of The Muppets back in 2011, its sequel Muppets Most Wanted in 2014, and episodes of Flight of the Conchords and Da Ali G Show.
We’ll keep you up to date as the story progresses. MiB 23 has no official release date.