We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Ben Affleck has tapped Alan Arkin to star in his Tehran hostage crisis flick Argo. Affleck is poised to direct the film, which is based on a Wired magazine article entitled “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran.” The true story tells how the CIA and the Canadian government teamed up to rescue six U.S. diplimats who had been taken hostage by Iranians in 1979. The CIA developed a ruse that involved convincing the Iranians that the diplomats were a Hollywood film crew scouting locations for a movie called “Argo.” Variety reports that Arkin will play a Hollywood producer who’s an O.S.S. veteran and is described as “equal parts bookie and rabbi.” George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing.
Additionally, James Badge Dale (The Pacific) is in negotiations to join Brad Pitt in Marc Forster’s World War Z. The film is based on the book of the same name which details the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse from the perspective of survivors as varied as mercenaries, US government officials, and impoverished Palestinians. Showblitz reports that Dale will play an American soldier trying to convince the authorities of the danger the zombies pose, and he joins Mireille Enos (The Killing) and possibly Anthony Mackie in the flick which starts production this summer. Hit the jump for the casting news of Elodie Yung in G.I. Joe 2. and a synopsis of the book World War Z.
With G.I. Joe 2 getting released next summer – specifically on August 10, 2012 – you had to figure that filming would begin in the near future. After all, Paramount has already hired director Jon Chu (the last two installments in the Step Up franchise and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) to replace original Joe director Stephen Sommers and we’ve also heard that only Lee Byung-hun (Storm Shadow), Ray Park (Snake Eyes) and Channing Tatum (Duke) will be reprising their roles from the first film.
With news rather quiet since those announcements, I did some digging and heard a few things about the sequel. It seems that filming is set to begin in the middle of August and unlike the first film which primarily shot in Los Angeles, the sequel will be filming in New Orleans. In addition, while Chu had been talking about doing the Joe sequel in 3D, I’ve been told they will not be shooting in 3D and they also will not post convert to 3D. Meaning G.I. Joe 2 will be released in good old fashioned 2D. More after the jump.
Back in February, Paramount Pictures handed over the reins of its sequel to 2009′s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra to director Jon Chu. Given that his most recent directorial efforts (the last two installments in the Step Up franchise and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) are predominantly dance-driven, Chu may seem like a less than obvious choice to lead the action-packed material G.I. Joe 2 will undoubtedly contain. Aesthetics aside, in a recent interview the director addressed several questions regarding his take on the film, including the hesitation some may have towards his involvement, saying:
“So going into this, of course they’re going to have their opinions. But I don’t think they’ve heard my voice yet in movies…I’ll never claim to be the greatest auteur of all time and I’ll never claim to know exactly what I am doing, but I know I love movies. And when people cheer when the hero comes on and boo when the villain comes on, there’s an energy that I love about that. And Joe, to me, it’s just natural extension of the symbol of a hero.”
To check out more of what Chu had to say regarding the film’s overall progress, shooting it in 3D, and playing with G.I. Joe toys as a kid, hit the jump. Paramount will release the G.I. Joe sequel on August 10th, 2012.
Paramount has settled on a release date for their sequel to 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It looks like the action sequel will bow on August 10th, 2012. Originally, Stephen Sommers was set to return for the sequel, but bowed out in January. Paramount cast a wide net to find the right person to take over the project, and they finally settled on Jon Chu (the smashing commercial success of his most recent film for Paramount, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, probably had nothing to do with that). Chu directs from a script by Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
Just yesterday Rachel Nichols, who portrayed Scarlett in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, confirmed via Twitter that only a handful of characters from the first film will return for the sequel. Set to return are Lee Byung-hun (Storm Shadow), Ray Park (Snake Eyes) and Channing Tatum (Duke). So Marlon Wayans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sienna Miller and Dennis Quaid shall not be back. Hit the jump for more.
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.
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:
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never opened to a $30 million weekend and an impressive A+ CinemaScore from the female audience (A overall). By all accounts, Jon M. Chu directed a solid documentary. Still, Chu thinks he can do better, saying, “I realized I had an embarrassment of riches when I was I in the cutting room.” He has assembled a “director’s fan cut,” which incorporates 40 minutes of previously unseen footage and new material shot during the Never Say Never promotional tour. The new cut hits theaters this Friday, February 25; tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 22 at 5PM PST. Full details after the break.
F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen) and Jon Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) are reportedly among the leading candidates to helm the as-of-yet-untitled sequel to 2009′s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Per Heat Vision, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura of Paramount has recently met with a slew of directors regarding the flick, with Gary and Chu emerging as frontrunners for the gig. It is believed that the studio is aiming at a summer 2012 release for the sequel (which is being penned by Zombieland scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick), meaning a director will most likely be named sooner rather than later.
As for the two candidates, Gray has a stronger action background given his work with Paramount on 2003′s The Italian Job as well as helming projects such as The Negotiator and A Man Apart. For Chu’s part, in addition to his recent exploration into everything Justin Bieber-related, the director has also lead the last two installments in Disney’s Step Up franchise. So, as it stands, both candidates have experience working with a major studio…and that’s about where the similarities end. As mentioned earlier, look for more news regarding the director’s chair for the G.I. Joe sequel in the near future. [Note: My original article failed to mention that our friends over at Latino Review broke this news initially - with an additional name included in the mix, Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra. All apologies, LR!]