22 Jump Street‘s end credits tease a slew of subsequent installments of the Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill drug-busting buddy cop franchise, but don’t count on the two to enroll undercover in culinary school, in a ballet company or in space just yet.
“I feel like that would be a cop-out,” Tatum told USA Today. “College was the obvious next step for us. We had to go there. I don’t know what the next step is after college. Do we go and take down Enron? Or the government in D.C.? I feel like it’s all redundant.”
The summer 2014 comedy, which was directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and grossed $327 million worldwide, took a comedic — and, arguably, critical — approach to Hollywood’s concept of a sequel. “The big running joke of the second movie is this is just going to be bigger … than the first time,” Tatum continued. “I don’t know if that joke works three times, so we’ll see.”
Back at the film’s premiere in June, Tatum told The Hollywood Reporter of sequels in general, “[They] are a terrible idea — they’re just more expensive and worse than the first one, and they’re ‘missions,’ not movies,” while his producing partner Reid Carolin added, “There’s always a moment when you’re trying to make a sequel that you think to yourself, no matter how well the first one did, ‘God, the bar is set so high — should we actually go back to do this again?’ Everyone wants you to go back in, but you all look at each other and say, ‘Is this worth it?'”
Coincidentally, the two were in the middle of penning the Magic Mike XXL script at the time. “Look, it’s hard!” Tatum admitted at the time of trying to top stand-alone hit Magic Mike. “We’re going to take our liberties. You’ve got to get up to the plate and swing for the fences; you can’t just be ‘meh.’ “