Last year's "21 Jump Street" was one of the most refreshing surprises in movies -- a whip-smart, oftentimes wildly obscene comedy big-screen remake of the hit dramatic television series, which took a pair of bumbling cops (Tatum and Hill) and put them undercover in suburban high school. It was like "Back to the Future" with gunplay and the F-word. And since then (the ending of the movie teased a possible follow-up), we've been wondering about a sequel. It doesn't help that co-star Channing Tatum became the biggest star on the globe in between "21 Jump Street's" release and now.
Well, at a Sony presentation at the exhibitors showcase CinemaCon in Las Vegas yesterday, Sony Pictures announced that it plans to have "21 Jump Street 2" into theaters in 2014. This puts production for the film, which will once again co-star and be co-written by Jonah Hill (along with Michael Bacall), starting sometime this year (a fall 2013 start day was previously considered).
It's unclear who else will be back for the sequel, although I ran into Brie Larson at a party at SXSW and she told us that she would intermittently get phone calls from Hill saying, "I just wrote the funniest scene for you!" But even she seemed a little mystified about when, if ever, they'd get down to filming.
Also a question: who will direct? The original film was snappily directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, animation vets who were making their live-action debut, and they are currently hard at work on Warner Bros' "The Lego Movie," which is set to hit theaters in February 2014. It is conceivable that "The Lego Movie" will be far enough along in production that they can switch over and man "21 Jump Street 2." It would certainly be a huge loss if they didn't return, as it was their fizzy, poppy approach to the material that largely made it such a blast.