It’s the crossover no one thought they wanted—a Men In Black and 21 Jump Street movie with Jump Street’s Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill getting wrapped up in alien shenanigans. The film has apparently been in the works since 2016(!) but has been languishing in development purgatory ever since.
In a recent interview on the Happy. Sad. Confused. podcast (via Playlist) Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) said that the crossover nearly happened, and that there was a script that Lord said was “very funny and very crazy.”
How crazy, you ask? Miller gave us a clue by sharing one of his favorite tidbits for the film, titled MIB 23: “The Black Suits were like martial arts belts that you had to work your way up to black and [the ‘Jump Street’ guys] were issued powered blue Men In Black suits,” he shared.
Interested in learning more? Lord graced us with the high-level plot of the never-made film:
Basically, the idea was Jonah and Channing, a thing happened while they were doing their medical school adventure that got them embroiled into the world of ‘Men In Black’ and that got them teaming up to stop an alien takeover type of thing. It was very funny, it was crazy trying to manage these two franchises and not drive them both into the ground seemed like a real challenge.
In a recent interview with Collider, Tatum also shared his eagerness to have the film come to pass. “I still think it could work, I really do,” he said. “And if Sony would ever really, like, I think do the hard work and figure out the producer problems that are inherent with that film, I think we can still do it. But right now, I don’t know why, they’re just not motivated to do it. It’s a big overhead on that movie, so.”
Tatum went on to praise the script as “by and away the best third sequel to any franchise that I’ve ever read, in my entire life” and that it was one of the funniest screenplays he’s ever read.
So will MIB 23 ever make its way to a theater near you? The challenge appears to be that the different contracts different producers have with the two separate IPs would have to come on board and take a pay cut to make the movie feasible. Whether all the parties involved come to an agreement seems unlikely, but we—like Tatum—can still hold out hope that the crossover film will one day make its way to the big screen.