This weekend Fandango spoke exclusively with Jonah Hill at a press event for Judd Apatow’s Funny People, in which Hill plays a stand-up comedian named Leo. During our chat we covered a wide variety of topics, including Hill’s writing work on the very intriguing 21 Jump Street movie, based on the ‘80s action show created by Stephen J. Cannell (The A-Team, The Rockford Files).
For those who don’t remember, Jump Street starred a young up-and-comer named Johnny Depp as Officer Tom Hanson. In fact, Depp recently told MTV that he might even consider making an appearance in the new movie.
To get the skinny on the project, Fandango went straight to the source and asked Hill to set the record straight on the 21 Jump Street movie. Hill laughed at the question, admitting that he’s heard a fair share of ridiculous rumors about the project. “If anyone ever just asks me, I can tell them what’s actually going on,” Hill tells Fandango. “That’s the funniest thing about internet rumors.”
In regards to Depp’s comments to MTV, Hill admits he’s as thrilled as any fan. “That’s really exciting. I’m clearly a massive Johnny Depp fan. I don’t think anybody is not. We wrote him a really interesting [part] that I think he would like, where it’s truly shocking and funny and crazy.”
Hill is currently working on the second draft script with Michael Bacall. Cannell, who will also produce, is very pleased with their progress. “It’s coming along really well,” says Hill. “The studio is really excited and wants to make it. So now we’re looking at directors. We’re meeting with people that are truly exciting and when we officially sign the right person on, you’ll be the first to know. I’m not shy about information.”
While some fans are worried that Hill’s involvement means Jump Street will mock the show like 2004’s Starsky and Hutch, the writer promises that’s not the case. “It’s not a spoof movie,” Hill clarifies. “It’s not making fun of the show in any way. I really love the Back to the Future element of it where it’s like, you get a second chance at going back to high school. It’s basically two cops who get assigned to this unit where cops who look younger go to infiltrate drug dealers in high schools. So it’s a really funny high school movie mixed in with some great action and it’s pretty exciting.”
“I always use the analogy that it’s kind of like Bad Boys meets a John Hughes movie.”
Fandango will have more from Jonah Hill in our upcoming exclusive interview where the actor/writer discusses Funny People, Get Him to the Greek, The Time Traveler’s Handbook and more.