When news leaked Wednesday that “Superbad” star Jonah Hill was set to write and produce a big-screen remake of the hit ’80s TV show “21 Jump Street,” the fan outcry was nearly unanimous.
“Foolishness!” wrote MTV reader damianx. “Dramatic? How could this guy make it dramatic?”
Well, Jonah Hill would like to have his say.
“People on the Internet just get pissed off about everything, I realized. I don’t know how anyone found out about it, but [Sony] approached me because they wanted to do a comedic version of it. But it’s not like slapstick or anything like that,” Hill told MTV News. “I don’t want to make some sh—y movie. I wouldn’t want to do it if it was gonna suck, you know what I mean? I really think it’s going to be sweet.”
The original Fox series, which ran for five years from 1987-1991, centered on a group of undercover cops who posed as students in high school and college. It was a genre-twisting adult drama that just happened to feature teens. And, oh yeah, one of those cops just happened to be Johnny Depp.
But fans who think Hill’s take will be derivative or unoriginal don’t know the first thing about the 24-year-old actor, Hill insisted.
“People expect you to do something crappy [when] adapting a TV show into a film. … When I hear it, it seems totally unoriginal,” Hill confessed. “But it’s going to be — we’re approaching it from an original standpoint, I’ll tell you that much.”
That original standpoint includes a much more comedic sensibility, Hill said. Although he was reticent with plot details, he did confirm that his “21 Jump Street” would be a flat-out comedy.
“It’s going to have some of the funniest people around in it, and it’s going to be really funny, I hope,” he said. “Or we won’t make it! If it doesn’t turn out funny, I promise you, we will not make it.”
That kind of control over the material comes because the project was essentially Hill’s idea from the get-go, he told MTV News. In other words, “I promise you guys, it’s not like the studio is saying, ’Make this crappy version of the movie,’ ” he said. “They were like, ’It’s [you] in control,’ and it’s badass.”
What else could Hill do to appease the fans worried over his adaptation? How about if he said it has a special role for a “21 Jump Street” veteran? Now, that vet just has to get onboard.
“We have an awesome thing for Depp, if he’ll do it,” Hill enthused. “I don’t know if he will or not, [but] it’s going to be rad!”
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