Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, February 11, 2008

And Knowing is Half the Battle

One little tiny piece of movie news that slipped out today was that, today, the long-awaited live-action movie version of G.I. Joe started filming.

Wow. Right up there with the live-action Transformers, a live-action G.I. Joe is right up there as something that makes my inner child giggle with glee. It all started with me and my brother playing around in the backyard when we were kids, going, "Wouldn't this be cool?" It evolved into many a moonlit night in the Dagligtale office with my best friend going, "Who should play who?" And now, it's actually happening.

Of course, even though G.I. Joe has been around since the 1960s, the movie will largely be based on G.I Joe: A Real American Hero, which we all grew up with in the 1980s. But, sadly, there have been a few changes. It's felt that, in the current global political climate, "A Real American Hero" will be a tough sell overseas. So it's been changed to G.I.J.O.E., a special multi-national task force. But, some things remain the same. They're still based at a military base in New York state codenamed "The Pit," and their mission is still to defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.

Stephen Sommers is directing. He's still best known as the director of The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and Van Helsing. The script was written by Stuart Beattie, who wrote the Oscar-nominated Tom Cruise/Jaimie Foxx thriller Collateral, and he also had a hand in writing the first Pirates of the Carribean film. There's even a rumor going around that Larry Hama, who wrote the G.I. Joe comics back in the 1980s and is pretty much accredited with creating the characters, has been brought in as a consultant. Just like Transformers, it's a joint production between Paramount, DreamWorks, and Hasbro.

But I'm sure you all want to know who our dramatis persona are.

G.I. Joe

Dennis Quaid as Hawk
G.I. Joe's stalwart commanding officer is being played by the veteran character actor of some 25 years worth of films.

Channing Tatum as Duke
The poster boy for G.I. Joe, the man of action who's always on the front line, the man described as "6-foot-2 with eyes of blue," is being played by the virtual unknown Tatum. This is one of his first big roles.

Ray Park as Snake Eyes
Who better to play the Joe's silent ninja commando than Darth Maul?

Rachel Nichols as Scarlett
The Joe's bad-ass special forces operative and the love of Snake Eyes' life if being played by this rising young starlet who was last seen in the thriller P2 but is still best remembered as special agent Rachel Gibson on Alias

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Heavy Duty
This British-born actor who currently plays Mr. Eko on Lost is the Joe's heavy machine gunner. For those veteran Joe fans who are asking, "Who the heck is Heavy Duty?" it's like this. A few years back, Hasbro actually lost the copyright on the name "Roadblock." So Roadblock was given the new code name Heavy Duty.

Marlon Wayans as Ripcord
The star of so many very bad comedies is playing the Joe's daring airborne trooper.

Said Taghmaoui as Breaker
This French actor is the Joe's communications officer.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Rex
The young actor still best remembered as young Tommy on Third Rock from the Sun is all grown up and playing the Joe's newest recruit. This Joe was created just for the movie, leading me to ask, "Gee, I wonder who's not coming back for the sequel?"

Heroes are only as good as the villains they fight, so here's The Cobra Command Team

Christopher Eccleston as Destro
The ninth Doctor Who is playing the Scottish arms dealer who supplies Cobra with all their high-tech weaponry.

Sienna Miller as the Baroness
This highly-acclaimed indie film queen is Cobra's master of espionage and Destro's main squeeze.

Arnold Vosloo as Zartan
Cobra's master of disguise and leader of his own terrorist group, the Dreadnocks, is being played by Imhotep...the mummy in those Mummy films.

Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow
This Korean pop star and martial artist makes his English language debut as Snake Eyes' blood brother and bitter enemy.

The identity of the supreme evil himself, Cobra Commander, is still being kept a closely guarded secret.

And of course, we'll all be running out to the theatres to see it on August 7, 2009.

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