23 Jump Street: Three Ways It Could Work

With rumors swirling about the next installment of the 21 Jump Street franchise, Patrick weighs in on how it could work.

21 Jump Street (the film, not the TV series) creators Phil Lord and Chris Miller have been quoted as saying that the next Jump Street film, presumably 23 Jump Street, will make all of the absurdly awesome films teased by 22 Jump Street’s credit sequence totally canon.  Given the series’ obvious tongue-in-cheek pokes at sequels and filmmaking in general, this is some pretty great news for fans of the hilarious satire that made the first two so enjoyable.  So then, how in the heck is this thing going to work?  Here’s a few ideas:

                  That Men in Black/Jump Street Crossover is Actually Happening
Rumors swarmed the ‘net earlier this year with reports that a Men in Black + Jump Street crossover was in the works.  Given both series’ particular blend of action and comedy, the pairing didn’t seem too absurd, despite their divergent genres (although both definitely fall square within the “buddy cop” realm…).  That being said, why would Schmidt and Jenko of Jump Street be tapped to deal with aliens?   Perhaps all of those dozens of Jump Street sequels were created by alien clones of the pair?  Maybe the films were such an embarrassment that Schmidt and Jenko (or perhaps their real-life actors instead?) seek out the Men in Black to neuralize the whole planet into thinking the movies never existed?  Maybe something completely different, but the involvement of a Sci-Fi element certainly creates scenarios where all of these films could exist.

                  23 Jump Street – Film School
An idea already suggested by several other commenters, one type of school not suggested by the 22 Jump Street credit sequence is film school.  Perhaps the other 22 versions of the film are actually created by Schmidt and Jenko during their tenure at film school?  Films within films?  The rest of the movie probably wouldn’t even matter if we could get a half-hour montage sequence of all of these ridiculous premises.  Arguably this version wouldn’t make the credit films “canon” as suggested by Phil Lord, but still makes a lot of sense, and would fit the series sense of humor.

                  45 Jump Street – Back to Basics
The Jump Street films are, despite their source material and juvenility, extremely funny and well-crafted movies.  Hill and Tatum have great chemistry and the gags are often bordering on brilliant.  Maybe Lord and Miller feel like they’ve painted themselves into the corner creatively by making 22 and the credit-sequence films so over-the-top – what better way to have an excuse to get back to basics than referencing more than ten other ridiculous operations ranging from Russia to outer space?  Maybe Schmidt and Jenko are finally “getting too old for this s#!t” and decide to just do some good old fashioned police work – does the franchise need to keep the undercover student gimmick to work?  I’m not so certain.

In any case, let’s hope we get at least a little bit of Seth Rogen as Schmidt, imaginary contract dispute gags are gold.

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-Patrick B. McDonald