You’ll recall in late 2014 that movie blogs (including ourselves), drunk on the waves of excessive information flow and exhibiting bad judgment, went whole hog reporting every little fart of data that was illegally obtained by hackers from Sony Pictures private corporate email communications. And… it was kind of news. But then freedom was threatened with a silly comedy about North Korea, and then things thankfully went back to normal.
But during that selfsame Wild West period when the Daily Beast was sorting through Sony emails like a lion gnawing on a bloody carcass kill, lots of bite-size but still major news leaked out. Some of these conversations about film projects were just that— conversations and ideas not quite fully formed or crystallized, but the possibilities were too tantalizing to not report for many. One of those tidbits was an idea kicked around for a “21 Jump Street” and “Men In Black” crossover, instead of a regular third “23 Jump Street” movie (Jonah Hill was excited, describe it as a “clean.. rad and powerful”).
So what’s up with that? “Nothing’s changed,” ‘Jump Street’ co-director Phil Lord said to MTV during the Golden Globe red carpet. “It’s still a crazy idea, and we only do things that seem like they’re going to be terrible. We’re really focusing on what’s a great story for Schmidt and Jenko and how to tell the next chapter in their lives,” Lord added about Hill and Channing Tatum’s characters from the comedy series. “And perhaps use creatures from another world at the same time.”
Co-director Chris Miller was a little bit more cautionary. “We’re developing a lot of things,” he said. “And they may or may not all happen, but that’s how the business works.”
In short, not a hard “no,” but not quite a full blown “yes, this is concretely happening!” Guys: we love you and everything, but please, dear god no. While we can easily see how meta-insanity of the ‘Jump Street’ series could call for maybe a fun cameo during another crazy drug sequence, opening the floodgates to real crossovers like this seems like an utterly terrible fucking idea.
Marvel crossovers within its own self-contained universe is one thing, but what’s next? “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” meets “Transformers” because Paramount owns both? “Despicable Me” facing off with ‘Bourne‘ over at Universal? “Aquaman” V. “Godzilla” over at Warner Bros.? Silly, idiotic crossovers may work in the comic world for an imagined limited series, but if one of these conjectured projects hit big, then you’ve no longer got stories coming from any genuine place. What we’re left with is what’s already a problem in Hollywood: everyone trying to follow the successful model. Right now it’s just “hey, crossover super hero films are big! Let’s build a cinematic universe!” This trend hasn’t hit its tipping point of overkill just yet, but some studio is bound to fail playing catch-up.
Tthis form of lunacy would be much worse: studios just drumming up random team ups for any of their ailing franchises in order to pump new life into and create a super franchise. It’s brand before story, and it could be its own form of Wild West insanity. Please, baby Jesus! No!