Female ‘21 Jump Street’ Spinoff Gets a Director, Another New Writer

     December 1, 2016


Sony Pictures seems keen on making that female-centric 21 Jump Street spinoff happen, even if it takes five writers to get there. The project entered development in Spring 2015 alongside the proposed Jump Street/Men in Black crossover movie, and Sony subsequently made a promising move in hiring Broad City writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs to pen the script. However, a few months later, Sony apparently heard a different pitch for the female-centric Jump Street from Bob’s Burgers scribes Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux and set them to write their own, separate script at the same time as Aniello and Downs were working on theirs. Called “dual track”, this method of screenwriting has become increasingly common and usually results in the studio bringing in a third writer to Frankenstein the best parts of both scripts into one screenplay. As you can imagine, it doesn’t exactly have the best track record.

That was last summer, and now the project is once again getting a new script, this time courtesy of Rodney Rothman. The comedy scribe got his start as a writer on Late Show with David Letterman before penning some episodes of Undeclared and moving into the feature realm with Grudge Match and, fittingly enough, 22 Jump Street. Rothman is the one tasked with scripting the Jump Street/Men in Black crossover, and Deadline reports that he’s now turned that draft in and has been set to write and potentially direct this female-centric 21 Jump Street.


Image via Sony Pictures

The idea for this spinoff is to focus on two female cops instead of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s characters from the first two films, but that’s about all we know at this juncture.

21 Jump Street worked as well as it did thanks to the eagerness of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller to lean into why the idea for a Jump Street movie was so ridiculous. They embraced the goofiness of the premise while also commenting on how fast culture changes, going on to use 22 Jump Street as an opportunity to offer a meta-commentary on the repetitive nature of sequels. Both those films felt like tightrope walks, so I’m less enthused about the prospect of a Jump Street movie without Lord and Miller involved—they’re a little busy at the moment with the Young Han Solo movie. That said, Rothman served as a producer on Popstar, Get Him to the Greek, and The Five-Year Engagement, so perhaps he’s got an interesting angle on this female-centric spinoff.

As for the Jump Street/Men in Black crossover, James Bobin (Alice Through the Looking Glass) has been attached to direct for a while, but Hill himself recently said he didn’t think the movie was ever going to happen. It’s admittedly an odd fit, and one that came about from Sony’s eagerness to reboot the Men in Black franchise, so that one may be a ways off yet.

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