Now that Jon Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) has officially landed the directing gig on G.I. Joe 2, speculation now turns to the cast. Rachel Nichols, who portrayed Scarlett in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, recently sent out a tweet [via /Film] confirming that only a handful of the original film’s cast will return for the sequel. And by a handful I mean Lee Byung-hun (Storm Shadow), Ray Park (Snake Eyes) and Channing Tatum (Duke). Nichols then followed the tweet up with this statement:
“… Thank you. After the GI JOE news I had Heavy Boots, but I’m smiling now!”
This seems to suggest that Paramount is sticking with the small handful of characters who actually worked in the original film – one of whom has plastic lips that don’t move – and vetoing the likes of Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, and even Joseph Gordon-Levitt who was clearly set up as the villain Cobra Commander in a potential sequel. This also suggests that Paramount is keeping the budget relatively smaller than the Cobra’s $175 million price tag. Of course none of this has been confirmed by the studio, so file it under rumor for now. G.I. Joe 2 is being written by Zombieland scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
Update: Paramount has settled on a August 10th, 2012 release date for the G.I. Joe sequel. More info here.