Feature films based on toys are now commonplace thanks to a billion dollar franchise called Transformers, and in 2009 Paramount attempted to branch out with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. That film didn’t hit quite as well as they had hoped, so for the sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the studio went for a soft reboot courtesy of franchise viagra himself, Dwayne Johnson. The Jon M. Chu-helmed follow-up fared better both critically and commercially, but a third G.I. Joe movie with Johnson in the lead role has been slow-going.
After many stops and starts, Disturbia and Eagle Eye helmer D.J. Caruso entered talks to direct G.I. Joe 3 in early January 2015. Obviously the film has yet to come to fruition, and Caruso moved on to directing xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. So what happened to G.I. Joe 3 and what was Caruso’s idea for the sequel? Speaking with Collider’s own Steve Weintraub at a Collider-hosted IMAX screening of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Caruso dropped a few details about what happened to G.I. Joe 3:
“Before I started this movie I had a couple meetings with Dwayne and the studio about what could happen with G.I. Joe. The franchise has been fairly successful, but there’s something about it that’s just not fully, fully clicking.”
At this point, Steve interjected by saying that finally combining the G.I. Joes and the Transformers is what would make it click, and Caruso responded by saying that was his idea:
“Well yeah but they’re not ready to do [G.I. Joe meets Transformers] yet. That’s exactly what they should do but they’re not ready to do that because in fact the script that I was developing, the two worlds sort of collided at the end and when they read it they were like, ‘We’re not ready to do this yet.’… They will eventually collide those two worlds and it’s probably when Mr. Bay decides he’s done with Transformers.”
Indeed, it’s tough to create the interconnected universe without infringing upon what Michael Bay is doing with his Transformers series, and since he keeps getting lured back into the franchise, it’s unclear when the franchise will be free to be tackled by another filmmaker.
Paramount last year assembled a writers room to map out potential storylines for future movies based on various Hasbro toys as part of an interconnected universe, so it’s certainly in the works. But according to Caruso, right now Paramount isn’t quite ready to combine the G.I. Joe and Transformers worlds.
As for the status of Caruso’s involvement, he says he’ll likely speak to Paramount about G.I. Joe 3 again once xXx 3 is released:
“It came close but I think what the studio was trying to do was reassess it and so now they’re back to the drawing board, and we’ll be talking again about it. It’s a valuable franchise—[it’s] not that they didn’t get it right, they just wanna really get it right and see if they can push it to the next level.”
What are your thoughts on G.I. Joe crossing over with Transformers? Let us know in the comments below.