This Just In!!!!

’21 Jump St.’ Leaps to Big Screen

By Michael Fleming NEW YORK (Variety) – Paramount Pictures will give big screen treatment for “21 Jump Street,” the series that launched the career of Johnny Depp (news) and helped establish Rupert Murdoch’s then-fledgling Fox network as a youth-demo stronghold.

The film will be written by the series’ co-creators, Stephen J. Cannell and Patrick Hasburgh, in a deal potentially worth seven figures if it goes into production.

The series, which ran from 1987-1990 on Fox and one subsequent season in syndication, has an easily updateable premise for a film that should have strong youth appeal. A group of fresh-faced police officers are assigned the nightmarish undercover duty of returning to high school to crack crimes and bust drug dealers infiltrating the hallways. The narcs were played by Depp, Peter DeLuise, Holly Robinson Peete, Dustin Nguyen and Richard Grieco.

Cannell, whose series creations include “The A-Team,” “Wiseguy” and “The Commish,” will produce the film with Douglas Rosen. Cannell also adapted his novel “King Con” for a feature set up at MGM, and makes a cameo appearance in current release “Half Past Dead.”