Phil Lord And Chris Miller On That Men In Black/Jump Street Crossover That Never Happened

The "Jump Street" franchise has laid dormant since 2014's "22 Jump Street," though not for lack of trying on Sony Pictures' part. At one point, the studio even considered a crossover between its "Jump Street" and "Men in Black" movies — one that came "very close" to happening, according to "21/22 Jump Street" directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

The "Jump Street" and "Men in Black" crossover, also known as "MiB 23," first came to light as a result of the notorious Sony Pictures hack of 2014. It was later reported that James Bobin ("The Muppets," "Dora and the Lost City of Gold") was onboard to direct the film, with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reprising their respective roles as "Jump Street" buddy cop duo Greg Jenko and Morton Schmidt.

Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via GamesRadar+), Miller described the "MiB 23" script as "very funny" and revealed that it picked up with Jenko and Schmidt after the pair had gone on an undercover mission to medical school. Those with good memories may recall the pair's med school adventure was the first of more than 20 fake "Jump Street" movie sequels (as well as a video game and toy line) teased in the famous end credits scene for "22 Jump Street."

Here Come the Men in Powder Blue

Miller went on to elaborate on how Jenko and Schmidt got tangled up with the Men in Black, and the artistic challenges of crossing over the two action-comedy properties:

"The idea was that 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 they ended up teaming up to stop an alien takeover type of thing. It was very funny, it was very crazy trying to manage these two franchises and not drive them both into the ground seemed like a real challenge."

Lord added to that, noting, "One of my favorite ideas is that the Men in Black, the black suits were like martial arts belts that you had to work your way up to black, and [Hill and Tatum] were issued powder blue Men in Black suits."

Personally, I have mixed feelings about the "Jump Street" and "Men in Black" crossover being nixed. On the one hand, it sounds like it could've made for a far more interesting continuation of the "Men in Black" movies than "Men in Black: International" — the quickly-forgotten quasi-sequel to the earlier "MiB" movies that Sony released back in 2019. What's more, poking fun at crossovers and corporate synergy reads as the next logical step for the "Jump Street" films after Lord and Miller's first two movies cheerfully mocked their own existence. 

On the other hand, the "22 Jump Street" credits scene was so thorough in the way it satirized Hollywood's infatuation with running its cash cows into the ground that it would've been very hard for "MiB 23" or any other "Jump Street"-related sequel to top it. For that reason, the franchise might be better off remaining in stasis until further notice (if not permanently).

Lord and Miller will be back as writers and producers on this year's animated sequel "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)," which opens in theaters on October 7, 2022.