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Monday, August 22, 2011

G.I. Joe 2 Update

So, hey!  G.I. Joe 2 began filming last week!

Just to get it out there, I LOVED G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.  My attitude towards it is pretty much the same as with Michael Bay's first Transformers movie.  Yeah, it's a deeply flawed, deeply cliched action/superhero film, but my childhood nostalgia helps blind me to all the flaws.

Originally, the release of G.I. Joe 2 was kept kind of vague, but then, J.J. Abrams got all wrapped up making Super 8, and that meant Star Trek 2 got pushed back from summer 2012 to...some time in the future.  So, needing a tentpole release for summer 2012, Paramount fast-tracked G.I. Joe 2 and gave it Star Trek 2's old released date of June 29, 2012.

For a second film, though, it looks like they've decided to go in a completely new direction and kind of disregard the first film.  It was announced that the only returning Joes from the first film would be Channing Tatum as Duke and Ray Park as Snake Eyes.  So who's stepping forward to fill out the ranks of G.I. Joe this time around?

  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is Roadblock.  This caused some head-scratching when this casting was announced because, as Roadblock's wikipedia entry says, Roadblock is "the most prominent African-American in G.I. Joe."  The Rock is not African-American.  But hey, they made Ripcord black in the first film, so why not make Roadblock white for the second?
  • DJ Cotrona is Flint.  Cotrona comes to us from the short-lived cop show Detroit 1-8-7.  
  • Adrianne Palicki is Lady Jaye.  Palicki was on the football drama Friday Night Lights, and most recently played Wonder Woman in the ill-fated, horrible-looking Wonder Woman pilot.
  • French-Asian actress Elodie Yung will be Jinx.
  • Joseph Mazzello will be Mouse.  Mazello, of course, still remembered as the kid in Jurassic Park, and as adult, he was one of the stars of The Pacific.  I originally thought that Mouse was an original Joe for the film, but poking around online, I found that he's a character from the short-lived Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles line.  
And it was just announced that Bruce Willis has joined the cast as General Joseph Colton.  The gimmick in the toyline is that Gen. Colton was the first  G.I. Joe...the original 12" figure from the 1960s.  He was turned into a 3.75" mail-away exclusive figure to commemarate the franchise's 30th anniversary in 1994, and when the comics were relaunched around 10 years ago, he was made the new commander of G.I. Joe, taking over for Hawk when Hawk was paralyzed from the waist-down in a Cobra attack.

As for villains, the only one returning from the first film is Lee Byung-hun as Storm Shadow.  The only one announced for this new one is Ray Stevenson as the Cobra saboteur Firefly.  Stevenson you may remember as the Punisher in The Punisher: War Zone.

The script was written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who wrote the zombie comedy Zombieland.  And the director this time out is Jon Chu.  Chu, of course, best known for the dance films Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, and the Justin Beiber movie Never Say Never.  In a few interviews, Chu has said he understands why some fans see him, the "dance movie guy," as a bad choice for for an action film, but Chu assures us that he's a huge G.I. Joe fanboy and is doing his best to give these characters justice.

There's not title for the film yet...rumored titles online have included G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes (which has since been denied) and G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

G.I. Joe 2 hits theatres June 29, 2012. 

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