G.I. Joe

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From Variety:

In one of William Morris' initial moves with regard to the new relationship, it reupped Hasbro's deal with Paramount Pictures to turn "G.I. Joe" into a live-action feature with Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce. An initial pact had expired.

Fact: I'm considering getting a Cobra tattoo at this very moment. Nothing to do with the article, just nice timing.

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  • 4 weeks later...
G.I. JOE is a really interesting and complicated process, because it has two fan bases I’ll say: it has one that exists before the 80’s, and the one that move forward from the 80’s and they are two different fan bases. I’d say on the internet the most vocal fan base would be the post 80’s fan base, but, as a filmmaker, I don’t want to abandon the pre-80’s fans and we’re working very hard to come up with what is similar between the two things I think attitude and values-wise. Particularly values. You know… loyalty, courageousness… That if you had never seen the TV show or read the comics, what would you say? Those ideas do exist in the TV and the comic books. They were definitely drawn on when they were made, so that’s the unity of the two ideas.

The characters are fantastic… Snake-Eyes… they present their own challenges because the character doesn’t talk and is a difficult character to figure out how to register on screen and it’s a fun challenge, but it’s a challenge and like every strong fan base, people are very passionate about one thing or another and what I always try to encourage people to think of the process of germination first and it’s a process of evolution and actually you get to the ideas that really land and we’re somewhere in that germination-evolution transfer right now, so we’re pretty early in the process.

Quint: I think, without dragging this out too much longer, probably what fans are going to immediately jump on is the period. Like you said, there are so many different iterations, you know?

di Bonaventura: Yeah and it’s difficult, so for me, I’m trying to go back to the original comic books and go back to the thing that existed before the comic book and then take, as best we can, the things that come together then. They don’t all line up I don’t think, but take as many things that line up as possible, put them together and come up with a story that is exciting.

A lot of people say “Well, I want this character in” or “I want this character…” and like every property like this, you can’t handle every character or else you have a story that makes no sense, so we’re going to have to make those choices. There are so many characters that so many people love and it’s immediately such a controversy when you talk about having one or killing one or doing something slightly different than what was done before, but like all of these properties if you’re not true to what it is, then you’re going to fail and I’m acutely aware of that.


I don't understand why they want anything to do with the pre 80s GI Joe. That's not the target audience for this movie. They aren't going to go see it anyways. At least I don't think many 40-70 year olds will be going to see it.

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  • 1 month later...
Stephen Sommers set to take the helm on GI JOE!

Looks like Stephen Sommers is the new man in charge at GI Joe Headquarters!

The word is that Paramount has offered Stephen “Mummy Wrangler” Sommers the task of bringing the next old school icon back to the big screen. It looks like rather than sticking with either the Skip Woods origin story or Elliot/Lovett’s more straight out adaptation they will be focuisng on a mash-up of the two.

What’s unclear is what this means for Sommer’s remake of When Worlds Collide which is supposedly in pre-production as I type this.

Is Mark Walberg still strapping on Duke’s boots? IESB got the original scoop on his casting and it stands to reason he's still onboard but it's Hollywood so you never know.

Could GI Joe be the next Transformers? Hard to say without any giant fucking robots on screen to wow people they are going to need some serious action and big names to get that level of hype...oh yeah and casting two INSANELY hot chicks for Scarlett and the Baroness couldn't hurt either....and by all means my place is available for casting calls.

Now the real big question that fans are going to hit on is the most obvious one: Is Sommers the right man for the job?

No matter who steps in, there is going to be some negative and positive reaction to the choice...ask Michael Bay. Sommers has proven he can make a fun action adventure popcorn flick, but he's also dropped a major ball with Van Helsing...only time and boxes of bullets will tell.


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From IGN:

G.I. Joe Casting Buzz

UPDATED: Sommers out as director?!

by Stax

August 14, 2007 - Only days after we learned that Stephen Sommers was in talks to direct Paramount's live-action G.I. Joe movie comes word that the Van Helsing and Mummy director may already have parted ways with the project.

According to IESB.net, Sommers is out as the film's director because of salary reasons. The site adds that Len Wiseman may be in the running to replace him, however, The Hollywood Reporter just reported that he's in negotiations to direct the Escape From New York remake for New Line.

IESB also has the lowdown on changes that are being made to G.I. Joe on its way to the silver screen. If the current crop of rumors pan out, G.I. Joe fans shouldn't expect Paramount's version to bear much resemblance to the comic book, cartoon and toy franchise that inspired it. At least not in the "A Real American Hero" sense.

Word first surfaced months ago that the studio and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wanted to include the original G.I. Joe doll's British counterpart, Action Man, into the storyline, which would make the Joe movie a buddy flick. Mark Wahlberg has been approached to play the Joes' team leader Duke, and now IESB claims to know who the powers-that-be want to play Action Man.

The site reports that Wahlberg's co-star from The Italian Job, Jason Statham, is being eyed for the role of the British hero. "The producers are keen on keeping the Action Man character in the film to make marketing of the film easier abroad including using that name for international territories to avoid any potential negative reactions that some parts of the world may have with the name G.I. Joe," according to IESB.

Oh, the purported changes don't just end there. The site adds, "The new GI Joe/Action Man team is expected to be made up of various individuals from around the world and will not be exclusively American or British. The characters will still be based from the original cartoons, toys and comics but with a globe-trotting flavor."

Sound off about what you think about these changes in the comments section below!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Stephen Sommers Confirmed for G.I. Joe

Paramount Pictures has confirmed that Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing, The Mummy Returns, The Mummy) will direct G.I. Joe, the live-action feature based on Hasbro's line of action figures.

IESB.net, meanwhile, says the studio has also hired Stuart Beattie (30 Days of Night, Collateral, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) to write the new script.

A February production start is planned for a summer 2009 release.

Variety says the accelerated production schedule began right after Sommers pitched his version of the film to Paramount chairman-CEO Brad Grey and production president Brad Weston on Wednesday evening. He was hired in the room.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce with Hasbro chief operating officer Brian Goldner. Sommers and his Sommers Co. partner Bob Ducsay will also be involved as producers.

Hasbro's Goldner said that the mythology of G.I Joe was fleshed out during the 1980s through 155 issues of Marvel Comics, as well as an animated TV series. There are about 30 core characters, good and evil, that can be exploited in films.

"Marrying Steve's vision with 25 years of this brand mythology feels like a great way to go forward," Goldner said.

"Our vision (for 'The Mummy') was clear the time the first trailer played during the Super Bowl, and by the time this one plays a Super Bowl, you'll see the coolest characters and visuals you can imagine, and beyond-state-of-the-art equipment," Sommers said. "I wouldn't have jumped into this just because of the Hasbro-Transformers tie. Remember, 'Pirates of the Caribbean was a big hit, but 'Haunted Mansion' not so much."

"My experience with beloved properties is that characters, attitude and tone are even more important than plot," di Bonaventura said. "Paramount showed a great deal of confidence in Stephen's take, and our ability as producers to get this up and running for a February start. His passion for the characters and the world convinced the studio this was something they couldn't resist."

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  • 3 weeks later...
Paramount has confirmed that in the movie, the name G.I. Joe will become an acronym for "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity" — an international, coed task force charged with defeating bad guys. It will no longer stand for government issued, as in issued by the American government.

The word is that in the current political climate, they're afraid that a heroic U.S. soldier won't fly.

This movie is going to ruin this for all of us that grew up with it.

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  • 1 month later...
Hasbro's G.I. Joe Team wanted to take this opportunity to clarify some of the facts regarding the G.I. Joe live-action movie that we are developing with Paramount Pictures.

First and foremost, we are not changing what the G.I. Joe brand is about. The name "G.I. Joe" will always be synonymous with bravery and heroism.

The G.I. Joe brand has enjoyed a successful 43-year history, spanning two key generations. The first was the line of 12-inch "realistic military" figures that were popular with kids in the 1960s and 1970s.

The second generation, was created in 1982, and is based on a cast of fictional heroes and villains that make up the "G.I. Joe vs. Cobra" fantasy. The premise of this fantasy is the story of the G.I. Joe team, led by Duke, and their "fight for freedom wherever there is trouble" against the evil Cobra Commander and his Cobra force. This storyline was an instant hit with kids in the early 1980s, spawning a highly popular 3-3/4-inch action figure line, comic book collection and animated series.

This movie will be a modern telling of the "G.I. Joe vs. Cobra" storyline and its compelling characters that Hasbro created 25 years ago. The G.I. Joe team will not be based in Brussels. Instead, they will be based out of the "Pit" as they were throughout the 1980s comic book series. And, in keeping with the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra fantasy, the movie will feature characters and locations from around the world. Duke, the lead character and head of the G.I. Joe team, will embody the values of bravery and heroism that the first generation of G.I. Joe figures established.

G.I. Joe is a very important property to Hasbro and we thank all of our fans for their enthusiasm. Without all of you, the brand would not be where it is today.


Once again I ask, why bother with the original G.I. Joe? Nobody who cares about it will go see this movie. All the people who grew up with the 80s version will see it.

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Bwahahaha I'm imagining the "global" Joe team. It's going to be Captain Planet-esque national stereotype central. Oh I feel bad for you guys who were fans. They're going to Transformer it.

G.I. Joe was already nothing but stereotypes. The Indian tracker, the Asian kung fu guy, the muscle bound marine, the unknown ninja. Their code names pretty much told you all you needed to know. When you hear about a guy named Quick Kick, you knew what he brought to the team.

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Bwahahaha I'm imagining the "global" Joe team. It's going to be Captain Planet-esque national stereotype central. Oh I feel bad for you guys who were fans. They're going to Transformer it.

G.I. Joe was already nothing but stereotypes. The Indian tracker, the Asian kung fu guy, the muscle bound marine, the unknown ninja. Their code names pretty much told you all you needed to know. When you hear about a guy named Quick Kick, you knew what he brought to the team.

Didn't Quick kick die?

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Bwahahaha I'm imagining the "global" Joe team. It's going to be Captain Planet-esque national stereotype central. Oh I feel bad for you guys who were fans. They're going to Transformer it.

If there's a Peruvian kid with a monkey who yells "Heart!" when everyone else yells "Yo Joe!" I am so buying two copies of the DVD...

I was crushed when he died in the comic. He was my favorite because he was so funny on the cartoon. I do admit he was kinda useless though.

He was crushed when the pillar hit him...

I'm sorry. I'm in an odd mood today.

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Talking about how the strike will effect big budget movies.

Paramount, on the other hand, threw four pricey A-list scribes at would-be $100-million franchise "G.I. Joe," which is scheduled to start shooting in February, and swears that the move paid off. Stuart Beattie ("3:10 to Yuma"), John Lee Hancock ("A Perfect World") and Brian Koppleman and David Levien ("Ocean's Thirteen") teamed up in an intense collaboration that yielded, according to di Bonaventura, a shootable script. But will the studio be willing to take a chance on shooting such an important, costly tentpole? The studio insists it will, partly because it isn't chasing big-name stars.

"We have to make sure the actors are not only good but perfectly suited to their roles," says di Bonaventura.


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