MIB 23 Unlikely to Happen, Says Jonah Hill

While director James Bobin confirmed to ComingSoon.net in May that he had officially boarded the Sony Pictures Men in Black and 21 Jump Street franchise mashup, MIB 23, it seems the future of that project may now be in doubt. Jump Street franchise star/writer Jonah Hill has told the Toronto Sun that various showbiz complications may force him and his cohorts to abandon the concept.

“I had the idea, but I doubt that movie will get made,” Hill stated. “It’s too complicated. They’re trying to make all the deals, but it’s kind of impossible with all the ‘Men in Black’ stuff. The ‘Jump Street’ films were so fun to make and the whole joke of them was they were making fun of remakes and sequels and reboots and then now it’s become a giant sequel, reboot. It’s almost become what we were making fun of and it’s hard to maintain that joke when it’s so high stakes. I love Channing and I love (directors) Phil Lord and Chris Miller and I love making those movies — they’re a lot of fun. So I hope it works out.”

The threequel would find Hill and Channing Tatum’s Schmidt and Jenko joining up with the Men in Black agency, although Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones would theoretically not take part. While a parody of cash-generating movie crossovers and shared universes sounds like a blast, the fact that the project appears to be falling apart likely goes beyond mere creative concerns. Sony just took a bath on their Ghostbusters reboot (the losses are estimated by some outlets to be as high as $70 million), and Bobin’s Alice Through the Looking Glass — a sequel to a billion dollar movie — took in an embarrassing $289 million worldwide. Even if a third Jump Street flick were to persevere, there’s a good chance it would be with a new filmmaker at the helm and maybe leaning less on the franchise crossover gimmick. 

“Yes, it’s very early stages, obviously,” Bobin told us of the MIB 23 project, “but I’ve always loved the ‘Men in Black’ world. Channing [Tatum] and Jonah [Hill] in ’21 Jump Street’ are just so funny. Those guys and their world makes me laugh every time I think about it. That’s always a good sign for a film.”

“[I]t’s definitely a really interesting concept that makes you think,” Chris Miller told CS last year. “Talking about it, developing it with Jonah [Hill] and Channing [Tatum] and Rodney [Rothman] and the studio, we can’t just do the, ‘Hey, it’s the same thing again’ schtick because we did that already.”

Interestingly enough, Miller also revealed that he considers the entire roster of sequels featured in the 22 Jump Street end credits part of the official franchise continuity.

“Those are canon, all 22 sequels,” he said. “If we’re going to do something, it’s got to be different but still have that same very specific ‘Jump Street’ flavor to it.”

How do you feel about MIB 23? Should they cut their losses while they can? Should they do separate Jump Street and MIB movies instead? Let us know in the comments below!