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On the promotional tour for the latest Transformers blockbuster, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (who also produces the G.I. Joe films) was asked about the current status of G.I. Joe 3 by the folks at Collider. He confirmed earlier rumors from Dwayne Johnson that filming would begin in early 2015, and even more than that, fully put to bed the question of whether or not Jon Chu was returning to direct the third film.

Speaking of the directing efforts, Di Bonaventura said:

“We’re just starting [to talk to directors]. We’re negotiating with a writer right now, and once we close that deal—which should be any moment—then we’ll have a story locked down. I’m really excited about it.”

Interestingly, he also says they’re “negotiating with a writer”. Reports were that Evan Daugherty was writing the treatment, but either that’s changed, or he is being brought back to add some more polish to the script. As far as the shooting schedule goes, the producer says the following:

“G.I. Joe 3 we are trying to get going, starting early next year…I think it’ll be a little later than [January]. I think February or March is probably more realistic. We were originally shooting for January and I think it’s slid a little bit, but you never know. It’s still a little too early to tell yet.”

Again, this aligns with the rumors from Johnson reported several months ago. Speaking of Johnson, Di Bonaventura was quick to mention that he will play a central role in the third G.I. Joe film, but that other cast had yet to be determined. Obviously with the Arashikage symbol so front and center on the movie poster, you know there are some strong ninja elements at play…but it’s curious to see how few other commitments we have yet.

One things for sure, it’s sounding like G.I. Joe’s 51st Anniversary year is sure to be more eventful than his 50th.

Check Collider for full details.