PRESS STATEMENT FROM COLUMBIA PICTURES:
Big changes are in store for police officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college, in Columbia Pictures' new action comedy 22 Jump Street, the much anticipated sequel to 2012's blockbuster hit, 21 Jump Street.
The first 21 Jump Street movie took the classic television series’ premise of youthful-looking cops going undercover in a high school and made it all its own. Where the series was an earnest procedural, the film became a subversion of action comedies, with the relationship between the leads taking center stage.
“Schmidt and Jenko are an odd couple,” says Hill. “They got together because they’re partners, but they really worked well together because they brought different things to the table.”
As a result, Schmidt and Jenko became an unforgettable screen couple. “They’re like Bogart and Bacall,” says Phil Lord, who returns to co-direct the sequel, with Christopher Miller, who adds, “They had this amazing natural chemistry. They’re very different, but they really respect and admire each other. They make a great yin-yang pair.”
In 22 Jump Street, the filmmakers take the relationship to the next level. If the first film was about forming a relationship, the new film is about what it takes to make a relationship last.
That idea dovetails nicely with the fact that the film is a sequel. Rather than approach 22 Jump Street by trying to re-create the magic – a re-tread of what came before – the filmmakers sought ways to keep it fresh… which is, of course, what we all have to do with our relationships. “The thing that struck us about movie sequels is that, in a way, they’re like the second part of a relationship,” says Lord. “In a relationship, you can try to recreate the past, but it’s never going to be the same; you’ve got to create new and different experiences that are just as great.”
“We came up with the idea of the ‘seven year itch,’” says producer Neal H. Moritz. “In the first film, they didn’t like each other, but came to be great friends and partners; now, their relationship has become complacent – like a marriage. That became the spine of our story.”
“So, that’s how we approached the movie,” says Miller, picking up the thought. “The running gag is that the plot is just like the last one – but in trying to do the same thing again, it doesn’t work, and Schmidt and Jenko have to find something new.”
With that in mind, it also made sense to the filmmakers that 22 Jump Street would be set in a college. “We got inspired by the idea that Jenko and Schmidt are each other’s ‘hometown honey’ – but they go to college, and the world is opened up to them,” says Lord. “They experience new things and start to wonder whether they’re with the right person or not. For those of us who went to college and had friends who went through that, it seemed honest and true.”
“College is about finding out who you are,” says Hill, who also produces the film with Moritz and Tatum. “For example, Schmidt has really defined himself by this partnership with Jenko. In college, he’s struggling to know who he is.”
Jenko, meanwhile, has found somebody with a few more of his shared interests. When their investigation leads them to look into the football team, Jenko finds a kindred spirit in Zook, the team’s quarterback, played by Wyatt Russell. Before long, the bromance that seemed made in heaven is in trouble. “Zook is kind of Jenko’s man-crush,” says Tatum. “There are jealousy issues immediately –and those issues get in the way of the case that Schmidt and Jenko are supposed to be working. They end up investigating separately.”
Opening across the Philippines in June 18, 22 Jump Street is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are off to college in 22 Jump Street
May 30, 2014