So how confident were Sony that “21 Jump Street” had the potential to be a hit? A month before the movie came to theaters, Jonah Hill revealed a sequel was already in the works, and a few weeks later it was reported that he was teaming up with Michael Bacall to pen the followup. And while it hasn’t been formally announced that Phil Lord and Chris Miller will return to direct, it’s likely we’ll know more soon if everything goes according to plan.
“Yes, we plan to start shooting in the fall,” honcho Doug Belgrad said in his chat with THR. This is certainly surprising news, especially considering just how packed Channing Tatum‘s schedule currently is. The actor is gearing up to shoot Roland Emmerich‘s “White House Down” next month, and on the horizon he has The Wachowskis “Jupiter Ascending” (also tentatively slated to shoot this fall), Bennett Miller‘s “Foxcatcher,” along with this work developing both a “Magic Mike” Broadway show for next summer and a movie sequel. So is Belgrad being optimistic or is Tatum reshuffling the deck? Guess we’ll soon see. But if you think Miller and Lord might be too busy with “Lego: The Piece Of Resistance” to return to make a movie, guess again.
“We’re working on ‘Lego’ with this guy Chris McKay from ‘Robot Chicken‘ and his background is as an editor so he’s cutting the animatic [animated storyboards] really fast…Then this summer he moves to Australia [where Animal Logic is based] and we stay here and watch dailies everyday for the next couple of years,” Lord told us in the spring. Miller added: “The plan is that after the summer, once we’ve got the story more locked and the designs more complete, then the crew that’s here in Santa Monica moves to Australia and we stay behind and hopefully we will have enough bandwidth to prep a live action movie while spending a lot of time, everyday, noodling…” So we’ll see if all the pieces come together make the “21 Jump Street” sequel a reality, happening a bit sooner that we thought.
Meanwhile, though it earned a modest $175 million stateside, “Men In Black 3” utterly destroyed overseas, earning more than $400 million and helping to bring the worldwide tally for the picture to $615 million bucks. And no matter how fraught the production was, or how ephemeral the final cost, Belgrad is ready to go with another installment. “We’re very pleased with the financial performance of ‘Men in Black 3,’ and we believe it is an ongoing franchise. We’re going to do [another one], but we don’t have clarity yet on how it should be done,” he said. So don’t put away those Ray-Bans.
Finally, it looks like a movie everyone has forgotten about is going to be rebooted. If you thought Joe Johnston‘s “Jumanji” just didn’t do it right the first time, Sony will be taking another crack at it. “We’re going to try and reimagine ‘Jumanji’ and update it for the present,” Belgrad said. We’re not even sure what that means unless they change the board-game-centered storyline of the original — which involves two kids who unleash a host of dangers playing the game — into a video game template this time around. But it’s all about the cash — “Jumanji” made over $260 million back in 1995 so it’s likely studio suits think they can beat that number this time around. Plus, think of all the merchandising tie-ins!
All this to say, if this story proves anything, it’s that reboots and sequels are still the name of the game in Hollywood, and it’s going to be that way for some time.