It would seem that Jenko and Schmidt will not become our first, last and only line of defense against the worst scum of the universe anytime soon.
There has been a lot speculation on the crossover movie between the Men In Black and Jump Street franchises in recent years. For a while, it seemed as if this unlikely concept is actually going to get made. However, despite an already written script, one of the key players, Jonah Hill, has cast some serious doubt on the prospect of it happening in the near future at the very least.
Even though it might come across as bad news to many, there are some solid reasons why it might be a good idea not to go ahead with this crossover right now. Let's take a quick look at the reasons behind Hill's skepticism and analyze some of the pros and cons of this odd (but exciting) idea.
Why Is Jonah Hill Skeptical?
Hill has stated that the whole idea was meant as a joke on greed and lack of creativity in today's film industry with its over-reliance on sequels, reboots and franchises. Therefore, the growing studio interest towards this crossover means that it has become the very thing it was meant to make fun of. It has happened even before anyone has started making this film. Furthermore, Hill went on to suggest that he's just not that keen to retread old ground.
Now, as valid as these points are, the question remains: Are these reasons good enough to scrap the whole idea completely?
This Crossover Could Simply Become Part Of A Problem
It's easy to see the positives that have come along with the focus on sequels, reboots and franchises. It has given many excellent opportunities for filmmakers to look at something beloved and familiar from an original and interesting perspective, which, in turn, has uncovered a lot of previously untapped potential.
However, it's main drawbacks are also rather easy to see. This trend makes the moviegoing audience less motivated to give completely original ideas a shot, thus making the filmmakers more hesitant to go ahead with them. Additionally, there is always a threat of tainting the legacy of some beloved classics.
In that light, going ahead with a crossover between two hugely profitable but also more or less finished franchises, would be the definition of what is wrong with the world of movies at the moment. Therefore, it is easy to understand why Hill had originally meant it as a joke.
It Would Not Be a Wise Career Move For Jonah Hill Right Now
As said before, one of the reasons behind Hill's reluctance to go ahead with the project is his unwillingness to tread old ground. This is a valid argument, since making this film could turn out to be a bad career move for Hill at this point.
In a way, Jonah Hill is moving towards a very similar career path to the likes of Bill Murray and Steve Carell — a comedian who establishes himself as a great all-around actor thanks to some smart role choices. To explain further, as great as Hill is in comedies and as underrated of a film genre that comedy often seems to be, there is more to Hill than just being funny. To put it simply, he clearly has potential for more dramatic roles. Furthermore, he has already displayed it quite a few times.
Therefore, the fact that Hill wants to explore his range as an actor by trying new things deserves respect. Also, it's a good reason to be excited about his future projects, since we could see a completely different side of him.
But These Franchises Can Unlock Each Others' Untapped Potential
Nevertheless, one should also take into account the inherent cleverness of this crossover. Therefore, this idea should not simply be disregarded. The thing is, making that crossover could be the only way to unlock the potential that both of these franchises have left.
Now, when looking at the Men In Black franchise, we have a well-established and interesting cinematic universe, which was brilliantly set up with the awesome first film. However, it's unambitious sequel and ambitious but a bit all over the place third part have largely failed to take full advantage of it.
To further complicate the situation, it's likely that there are no lead characters with whom to explore this universe anymore. As awesome as Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones were in their roles and as brilliant of a chemistry they had, Agent J and Agent K don't seem to have too many places to go story-wise. In other words, we have a great concept but, most probably, no leads.
With the Jump Street franchise, the situation is the exact opposite. In Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmith (Jonah Hill), we have two leads, who can clearly be used again to a great effect. However, story-wise, there are not many logical ideas to continue the franchise they are in currently.
This brings us to the idea of a crossover. One franchise will provide the setting and other will provide the leads. Also, to sweeten the deal, it could give either Jones or Smith an opportunity to play the head of MIB. Additionally, as mentioned before, the script is reportedly very funny.
So, Is Jonah Hill's Reluctance Good News?
The key to understand the current situation is remembering one of the golden rules of comedy: timing. The thing is, as a fan of both franchises, I really want to see this movie get made. Having said that, it should not be a rushed effort. This crossover should only get made when Hill and rest of the people involved feel right about going ahead with it. Right now, it could just come across as a desperate attempt to cash in.
Therefore, it is good news that Hill is in no hurry to go ahead with this project. However, lets not forget that the idea is out there and it has got some potential. So, it would probably be for the better, if Hill and the others involved wouldn't neuralyze this crossover from their minds just yet.