Last week we reported F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen) Jon Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never), and Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) were the leading candidates to direct the sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Well, it looks like Paramount and Hasbro have made their selection and it’s going to be Chu. While his name might surprise you as you’d think bigger name directors might want to take on the property, Chu is apparently a big fan of Joe and with Never Say Never making great money for Paramount (already over $50 million), the studio felt he was the right man for the job. For more on the story and how the studio might be recasting some of the main roles, hit the jump:
According to THR, insiders at the studio are saying that some of the cast from the first G.I. Joe might not return. They mention Sienna Miller (Baroness) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Cobra Commander) as two that might not be back. But they do say it’s still too early to tell. However, it’s expected that Channing Tatum will return as Duke. With a summer 2012 release date on the horizon, I’d imagine casting is going to move forward quickly, so we’ll know soon who will return and who will be recast.
So you might be asking how did Chu come out of left field to land the gig. Well, he’s clearly passionate about the material as he told MTV:
“‘Joe’ is something I’ve loved since I was a kid,” he told us. “I still think there’s a movie out there that can be done for the real ‘Joe’ fans, the one we’ve been waiting for that hasn’t been done before.”
Then, in a different interview with Movieweb, he was asked what he hoped to see in the sequel:
“I am trying to figure that out right now. I have a bunch of stuff written down. I have done a bunch of drawings and things. We’ll have to see where that goes. Joe, to me, is iconic. It is as American as Coke and the Boy Scouts. To have that kind of history in a brand is so rare these days. And that is so powerful. So you can’t treat Joe like its just another action movie. You can’t treat Joe as just another petty commercial movie. Joe has history. Joe has always been a part of what America is, and now the world. What it means to be a leader and a hero. For me, it is about the fun stuff like Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, and all the gadgets. All of that stuff. But it has heart. Its heart is what America, and what heroes and leaders around the world, strive to be. I think that is what the brand needs. It needs the respect to be treated in that way.”
As most of you know, I thought the first G.I. Joe movie was a lot of fun and am excited about the sequel. When we broke the news that the writers of Zombieland (Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) were scripting the sequel, my level of interest peaked. The big question is what kind of budget is the sequel going to get and what will Chu bring to the table. I’d imagine who Paramount casts is a big clue on budget, and we’ll have to wait and see on the tone and style of the sequel.
While Chu was definitely not my first choice for helming this franchise, I’ll always keep an open mind and wait to see the results. Fingers crossed he doesn’t disappoint.