Jonah Hill Gives Update on 21 Jump Street

ON chatted with Jonah Hill today at a special Dreamworks Animation presentation of their animation slate where the star revealed details about his upcoming film adaptation of the popular 1980s television show, “21 Jump Street.”

“We’re going to shoot it this year I think.” says Hill, “We hired directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller who directed ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ and are friends of mine. They are incredible. Their take on the movie is incredible… It’s about cops who go back to high school. Young rookie cops who go back to high school. I think that’s a real interesting idea as opposed to saying, that’s not what happened in the show so it can’t happen in the movie’.

Working from a script by Michael Bacall and Joe Gazzam with an original idea by Hill (who is also executive producing), the film will keep the same basic premise as the series but will have a tone that Hill believes will surprise fans.

“[Audiences are] not expecting what it’s going to be. It’s not a parody of the show. I’m not playing Johnny Depp’s character… I’m not saying I’m Johnny Depp. I’m not playing his character. It’s a group of people that go back to high school to deal with a drug problem. To deal with crime in high school. I really love the “Back to the Future” moment of that where it’s getting to relive a certain period of your life… It’s a comedy with really cool action. We’re not doing something serious like ‘Miami Vice.’ But it’s not a parody. It’s a funny movie with a lot of great action and a real story. I’ve been saying that it’s like a John Hughes movie with ‘Bad Boys’ style action.”

Outside of Hill (who plays one of the police officers), there is no cast currently lined up. When asked if the characters would be the same characters as on the series, Hill responded, “There might be a couple of surprises in there… [T]he Chapel’s there. There will be stuff from the show.”

Right now the focus is on tailoring the script to Lord and Miller’s vision, but Hill is certain that the production is headed in a great direction, adding, “I wouldn’t make it if it wouldn’t be awesome.”