Sony Pictures are in early discussions to combine two of its biggest franchises: Jump Street and Men in Black. Leaked emails from the studio's chief Amy Pascal revealed that the follow-up to 22 Jump Street would have stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum interacting with the universe of the sci-fi comedy.

22 Jump Street22 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill [L] and Channing Tatum [R] was a massive hit for Sony

The e-mails appear to indicate that neither Will Smith nor Tommy Lee Jones would be involved in the project, but the Jump Street helmsman Phil Lord and Chris Miller are producing and may direct. 

In an e-mail to Ms Pascal, actor Hill said: "jump street merging with mib i think that's clean and rad and powerful."

In another e-mail, Hannah Minghella, a president of production for Sony's Columbia Pictures, said of the potential movie: "We don't have a script yet so we'll be greenlighting the movie off the concept and the talent involved."

More: Sony leak reveals Marvel tried to enlist Spider-Man for Captain America 3

The discussions appear to confirm that the movie would be a high priority project and that executives are eager to move ahead. 

In a letter to Steven Spielberg's attorney seeking to get the filmmaker on-board, Sony Pictures president of worldwide business affairs and operations Andrew Gumpert wrote: "We didn't do as well as we had hoped for on the last MIB film, but that hasn't caused us to lose faith in the franchise. In reality, the exact opposite has occurred where we all have an opportunity to take an interim step on the way to hopefully forging ahead again in the pure-play MIB universe."

Men in Black 3 had a budget of $230 million though brought in just over $600 million worldwide - far less than Sony had expected.

More: Sony leak reveals Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin's fiery exchange over Angelina Jolie