22 Jump Street was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen this year, and one of the best sequels about a sequel that I’ve ever seen, period. Writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller made a movie that pokes fun at the fact that it even exists, and it ramped up the stakes in a way that managed to meet the needs of a traditional studio sequel while also making the audience feel like we’re in on the joke with the filmmakers. And returning stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill brought enough heart to ground the story and make it more about just the meta jokes.
As the end credits rolled, I became increasingly confident that Lord and Miller wouldn’t be back to make another sequel. For those who don’t remember, 22 Jump Street ends with the promise (or threat) of the guys going to medical school, but the true ending takes place during the credits and consist of a montage of posters, teasers, and quick footage from future as-yet-unmade sequels that make fun of the idea that this franchise could go any further than it already has. We see things like 30 Jump Street: Flight Academy, 35 Jump Street: Traffic School, and 43 Jump Street: Mariachi School, and it felt like Lord and Miller were having fun getting every possibility of this franchise out of their system because (it seemed to me) they weren’t going to come back. How could they? What else could they possibly hope to achieve? They’ve already defied expectations by making these two movies actually great – they’re really playing the odds if they think lightning will strike three times.
But since the film has made nearly $320 million worldwide, another sequel looks increasingly likely. Deadline reports that Sony has hired Rodney Rothman to script 23 Jump Street, and Lord and Miller will oversee the script as producers on the third entry. Rothman co-wrote 22 Jump Street, so he has some familiarity with the specific type of comedy they’ve been working with in this franchise.
But will Lord and Miller return to direct? That’s the big question, and Deadline’s report says that the directing job is theirs if they want it, but the duo hasn’t committed to direct as of yet. As much as I love what they’ve done with the series so far, I think they might have said all there is to say with these characters, so I’m hoping that they move on to other original projects instead of coming back to this one. There’s always the chance they could surprise me and come back with a fresh new take for another sequel, but I’d like to think Lord and Miller are looking at this project with wary eyes.
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