Yielding to common sense, Paramount has finally taken Star Trek 2 off the schedule and given it’s June 29, 2012 release date to G.I. Joe 2. G.I. Joe may not have the draw of the Star Trek franchise, but Paramount needs a tent pole for that date and the G.I. Joe sequel is what’s available. Deadline also reports that the title has been changed from G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes (a delightfully goofy title) to G.I. Joe: Retaliation (a deadly serious title for a sequel to a movie where the characters bounced around like the Gummi Bears).
In his interview with Steve at Comic-Con Trek 2 co-writer Damon Lindelof said they’re currently writing the script. January is being kicked around as the possible start date for the sequel, which would likely mean a holiday 2012 (incredibly optimistic) or a summer 2013 release date (far more likely). Deadline adds that Paramount has exercised its option on the cast which means that Chris Pine will be playing Captain Kirk before he stars in the studio’s Jack Ryan reboot. While I’m slightly bummed that we’re probably not getting a new Trek next year, I’d rather have the movie done right than done fast. [Correction: I originally said the release date was July 29, 2012 when I meant June 29, 2012]
Adrianne Palicki will play the female lead in Jon Chu’s G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes. According to Deadline, Palicki will play Lady Jaye (pictured above in what I seriously doubt is an approved military uniform). The cast for the film continues to fill out as Paramount positions the sequel to be one of their summer 2012 tentpoles. Palicki joins returning cast members Channing Tatum (who plays Duke), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), and Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow) along with new recruits Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock), RZA (Blind Master), D.J. Cotrona (Flint), and Elodie Yung (Jinx). One of the major roles yet to be cast is original G.I. Joe, Joe Colton. Deadline reports that Bruce Willis is the top choice for the role and he would certainly add some star power to the flick.
Hit the jump for a brief bio on Lady Jaye. G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes opens August 10, 2012.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura is one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers. The guy usually has at least one blockbuster movie to his credit every year and he’s having a pretty nice day since his new film Transformers: Dark of the Moon is cleaning up at the box office. Speaking to MTV, Bonaventura spoke about the sequels to Red and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Speaking about Red 2, di Bonaventura says they have a script in place and now the trick is measuring how much of the original cast to bring back and how many new characters to introduce. Says Bonaventura,
“I think the audience would be disappointed if we didn’t bring back the crew, but we’ve got to freshen the crew. We’ll bring in one or two characters that’ll play a really big part — maybe three, but definitely one or two. You know, Marvin and Frank and Sarah, you want to spend more time with those guys. Sometimes there’s a tendency to want to do too much of a good thing so you don’t really service anything, so we’re really trying to stay focused on our core crew with one or two new additions.”
Hit the jump for what di Bonaventura had to say about G.I. Joe 2 aka G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes.
Channing Tatum is on board to reprise the role of Duke in G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes, and prior reports suggest Lee Byung-hun (Storm Shadow) and Ray Park (Snake Eyes) may also return. Otherwise, Paramount is looking to a new cast to liven up the sequel. The big get is Dwayne Johnson. The man has revealed a penchant for joining film series midstream with Fast Five and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. G.I. Joe will make it a trend if/when Johnson officially commits to playing Roadblock. Elodie Yung signed on earlier this month to add more fresh blood as Jinx. Tonight, Heat Vision adds two more names: RZA and D.J. Cotrona.
Cotrona is in talks to play Flint, identified in the original series by his shotgun and beret. RZA will play the Blind Master, a martial arts expert who once trained Snake Eyes and Jinx in martial arts. The Wu-Tang Clan leader is carving out a nice second career as an actor. Mostly comic work so far, but you can’t keep RZA away from filmic martial arts for too long (and who would want to?). His next project — as writer, director, and star — is The Man with the Iron Fists, somehow starring Russell Crowe.
Directed by Jon Chu ( G.I. Joe 2 is scheduled for release on August 10, 2012.
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.
While some stars feel the need to have franchises begin and end with them, Dwayne Johnson doesn’t have those reservations. He signed on to Fast Five and ended up co-starring in one of the year’s biggest hits as a result. Now he’s turning his eye towards joining Jon Chu’s G.I. Joe sequel, now titled G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes. Deadline reports that Johnson is in talks to play Roadblock because I guess the call sign “Big Muscular Man” was too obvious. Channing Tatum is likely to return but that isn’t too surprising since we previously learned that only Duke, Storm Shadows (Lee Byung-hun), and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) would be the only returning characters (although I don’t see how you do a movie called Cobra Strikes without Cobra Commander).
Deadline also mentions that G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes has become a higher priority for Paramount since they’ve had to scratch Star Trek 2 from their summer 2012 schedule. There’s no official word yet from Paramount on this front, but even J.J. Abrams, should he return to direct, has said he wants to get the sequel done right rather than done fast. G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes is currently set for August 10, 2012.