With a recent slate of moderately-to-highly-successful franchise films, continuations or starters, right in their rear-view mirror, Columbia Pictures are on the sequel hunt. (Well, it’s a major Hollywood studio; they’re always on it.) Whilst speaking to THR, studio President Doug Belgrad outright talked the kind of development we’ve either known for months or suspected in that relative span of time: 21 Jump Street 2 and Men in Black 4 are coming our way.
The former of those has been in the scripting stage for at least a few months now; Michael Bacall is returning to handle that aspect, having already developed the plot’s basic outline with Jonah Hill. Should any revelations come from this announcement, it’d be a fall start date — only because it’s sooner than I would’ve expected — but, otherwise, there isn’t much else to say. Other than, I guess, “Bring Phil Lord and Chris Miller back if you know what’s good.”
And then there’s Men in Black 4. The collective reaction to the last film was more of a shrug than the demand for more adventures with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones — as though the latter was really in the movie — but a shrug does not detract from the price of a 3D ticket, either.
Belgrad considers it “an ongoing franchise” (that they didn’t do anything with for ten years); currently, however, they “don’t have clarity yet on how it should be done.” Whatever. Just wake Barry Sonnenfeld from his nap and get the stupid thing in front of cameras with a halfway-complete script.
There are a couple of other tidbits. They’ll be giving Jumanji another stab, for one thing, with the primary agenda being to “update it for the present” — I guess a 1995 setting would almost be something of a period piece now — and are “pushing ahead” to make The Girl Who Played with Fire. That project’s been in such a weird spot; Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are expected to return, while Steve Zaillian has already written the script for that and its sequel — but, yet, there’s no word on David Fincher. I sort of suspect a busy lineup just won’t let him return, and that MGM having “severely altered their plans” for the rest of the series would call for someone with a lower salary. Just as I’ll be a viewer with lower investment. Look out!
Are these sequels, reboots, and their kin coming across as good ideas?
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