One of the overarching jokes of of 22 Jump Street is the fact that it is indeed a sequel. But would a 23 Jump Street make that joke less funny?
Much-deserved praise has been lavished on the—spoiler alert—end credits for the movie, in which the filmmakers propose a variety of sequels for the movie, each more ridiculous than the next. The successful ending was actually a last minute addition, Adam B. Vary of BuzzFeed reported, after an original ending in which Jonah Hill's Schmidt and Channing Tatum's Jenko rejected the idea of going on another mission tested badly. So they came up with an elaborate gag, complete with celebrity cameos, that shows our heroes taking stabs at medical school, Sunday school, beauty school, and more.
But with 22 Jump Street taking in an impressive box-office haul, the studio executives at Sony will surely be tempted to make at least some kind of sequel a reality. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, as well as Hill and Tatum, have been playing it coy when it comes to the idea of another sequel. While Lord told Vary that "we’ve already established that it has to be medical school," they speculated about a prequel called 20 Jump Street or a 22 Jump Street 2. Miller told Jesse David Fox of Vulture that the ending was "not intended to be a scorched-earth policy, but yeah, anything’s possible." Producer Neal Moritz was a little more serious in an interview with The Wrap: "The way I look at it is, after this weekend's over, if that's what the audience wants then I'd sure love to do it, but I don't want to jinx it. We're proud of what we've done here. I'm sure we'll discuss it next week." But when asked about the possibility of another one, Hill told ScreenCrush: "I think that's kind of the joke is that maybe it'd be stretching a little to keep going."
Hill is probably right, but there's the possibility that the credits could have the opposite effect. "The first rule of show business is to leave the audience wanting more," Jordan Hoffman wrote at Mashable. "Considering that 22 Jump Street is all about the absurdities of sequels, the hilarity of the film's closing credits will have you aching for a world of endless Hill-Tatum hijinks." 22 Jump Street took cynicism about the movie industry's tendency to bleed franchises dry and turned it into hilarious meta comedy that impacts the entire movie. Lord and Miller lovingly savaged the notion of sequels, while still proving that they can do one better than most. We imagine these guys are bold enough to try a 23 Jump Street, and given their track record they could probably even make it good, but in doing so they might take the edge off 22 Jump Street's satire. Or they could just prove us all wrong. Again.