It’s been a while since we heard about Sony’s plans for their 21 Jump Street franchise. For a while there, it looked like the studio was going to take the shared universe route with a Jump Street/Men in Black mashup, but now that production is underway on a new Men in Black movie starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, the fate of Sony’s surprise comedy hit has become something of a mystery.
However, according to a new report in Variety, the Jump Street franchise still has some life in it in the guise of the long-developed female-led spinoff Sony first started putting together back in 2015. That script had a bit of a journey… first the studio hired Broad City writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs, before bringing on Bob’s Burgers scribes Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux to pen their own version a few months later. Ultimately, 22 Jump Street writer Rodney Rothman (who also penned Sony’s upcoming animated Spider-Man movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) was recruited to write a draft of his own, and that’s the script that still has Sony’s attention all these years later. Per the report, Rothman is writing the script and will direct, and Sony is focused on finding the right two female comedians to send back to high school as undercover cops.
Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch told the outlet, “We think that there’s something fun about keeping that irreverent spirit of ‘Jump Street,’ but maybe having it be told through a female undercover cop point-of-view,” said Panitch. “We’ve had enough male buddy comedies. The script is really funny and has a freshness to it.” And for the studio heads, it’s all about finding the right “big idea” to bring something new to the franchise — for Jump Street, that means “leaning into a more feminist perspective.
“With these movies you have to have one big idea for the film,” said Panitch. “In some ways, this big idea is ultimately more important than the brand itself.”