There's something lovely about creating a movie franchise that seems dedicated to the sole purpose of making wicked fun of the entire idea of movie franchises, but then again, we should be getting used to Phil Lord and Chris Miller finding a fresh way into things.
There's been coverage today about the new “Jump Street” all-female sequel, with Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs onboard to write that film. That's good new. I think “Broad City” is a terrifically-written comedy, and if them writing the movie means there's any chance we'll see either Abbi or Ilana in the “Jump Street” film, that would be awesome.
They've been discussing the “Men In Black”/”Jump Street” crossover since at least mid-2014, and if they approach it with the same willingness to destroy the fourth wall as they did the first two films, I suspect they will find a lot to make fun of in the industry's rush to turn everything into shared universes. I'm curious to see if this “all-female” version is going to be poking fun at Sony's own decision to make an all-female version of “Ghostbusters,” especially with many of the same people involved allegedly developing a “Ghostbusters” of their own. If so, that's not only incredibly meta, but also sort of a swipe at one of their own filmmakers, and it makes me wonder just how meta this will eventually get.
I'm curious what they would end up calling the “Men In Black”/”Jump Street” film. If they're going for the sort of uber-meta-title-joke, it could be “24 Jump Street/Men In Black 4” or find some other way to pile a few more numbers in there. And flipping the gender doesn't immediately suggest a title, either. In general, I guess “Jump Street” now becomes a brand name that means “hyper-aware pop culture parody,” no matter what the target or what shape it finally takes.
“Men In Black” is the far bigger name, one of Sony's truly giant franchises, so no matter who steers this particular ship, both brand names need to be front and center. It's hard not to be cynical when you're writing about brands and marketing for a film that doesn't even have a start date. But when you've got guys like Lord and Miller and Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, even something as nakedly commercial as that has a strong chance at being smart and funny and way better than it deserves to be. Beyond that, if they want to expand and introduce new characters and they're using that as a chance to give talented and funny women a major franchise spotlight, then that's a pretty great use of the currency they've built with the studio so far.
Whatever the case, I'm a fan so far, and I look forward to seeing where they go with these. At the moment, it looks like they're aiming for the “MIB”/”Jump Street” film for 2017.