Anyone who hasn’t been listening to the Full Force podcast is doing themselves a disservice. They’ve been right on top of the latest G.I. Joe news and bringing some really fun stuff to the podcast world.
Just over the past few days, they’ve posted a couple of different news bursts, including a great interview with Hasbro designer Bobby Vala talking specifically about his work on the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Figure Subscription Service 8.0 as well as other G.I. Joe oriented product.
Also, I joined Chris and Erik from Boss Fight Studio to talk about recent rumors surrounding G.I. Joe “Ever Vigilant” (if that is it’s real name). Some good stuff and considering the relative dearth of G.I. Joe news, they manage to be relevant, entertaining, and just plain fun.
An interesting report from the folks at That Hashtag Show tonight, who have reportedly gotten a look at an early script for the upcoming third G.I. Joe film, which they claim will be entitled “Ever Vigilant”.
Perhaps the most interesting element that they discuss is that the third film (at least at this stage in the script) is not being developed as a reboot, but instead as a true sequel to G.I. Joe: Retaliation with the hopes that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will reprise his role as Roadblock.
I’m a bit mixed on this news personally. Unlike many G.I. Joe fans, I actually didn’t hate G.I. Joe: Retaliation, I thought it was a far better film than The Rise of Cobra (though there were parts and pieces of that film that I enjoyed as well) and honestly, I think keeping The Rock involved in the brand could only mean good things for its exposure and potential box office revenue. That being said, the events throughout the first two films have made it increasingly difficult for a true G.I. Joe vs. Cobra story to be told without some level of retconning or creative elimination of past events. In that way, a reboot would almost be a better course of action.
Regardless of all this, That Hashtag Show gives us a neat run down of some potential characters that are slated to appear in the third film, at least according to this early script (which everyone should take with several grains of salt):
Tomax & Xamot – This doesn’t surprise me at all, actually. There were earlier scripts of a follow up G.I. Joe film which featured the twins (and introduced the Dreadnoks) so it seems to make sense for them to finally make their appearance in a proper “Arbco” type of scenario.
What’s odder to me is the list of potential G.I. Joe characters:
Daina Janack (yes from the Oktober Guard)
Dr. Adele Burkhart
On the one hand it’s interesting to see them diving deep into G.I. Joe lore, but on the other hand, you have to wonder how many of these characters will be “in name only” and this kind of gets to the crux of the issue with doing a true sequel. Considering the majority of the G.I. Joe roster died during the events of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, how limited will these film makers be in what characters they can use in this film? And really, I love G.I. Joe, believe me, but do we really need a film that focuses on characters like Daina, Barbecue, and Keel-Haul?
Again, this is supposedly an early version of the script (and yes according to That Hashtag Show, it does plant the seeds for the Hasbro Combined Universe) so by no means should any of this be treated as gospel, but it is certainly fodder for some very interesting conversation going forward. Be sure to check out That Hashtag Show for the full details.
More to come, I for one am pretty excited at the idea of talking about G.I. Joe films again, regardless of what shape they’re taking. It’s always a lot of fun to speculate and the ramp up to a big Hollywood event keeps things exciting.
With Byung Hun Lee out doing the interview circuit for his new film The Magnificent Seven, it’s natural that some questions would come up regarding his role in the G.I. Joe movie franchise. Speaking with LRM, the Korean actor said that:
“…that there’s a possibility to do the third one, but I think they’re waiting for the actors’ schedules. They’re arranging the schedules for the actors, especially Dwayne Johnson.”
While it is nice to hear some talk of the next installment in the G.I. Joe film franchise, I don’t think it surprises anyone that they’re building the next installment around Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Already one of the most popular actors on the planet when he filmed G.I. Joe: Retaliation, somehow the onetime wrestler has skyrocketed even further, recently pulling down the honor of the highest paid actor in Hollywood. If G.I. Joe has the inside track to leverage Johnson’s billing for a third film, they would be painfully stupid not to do so.
At this point that means a bit of a waiting game. When you’re one of the most popular action heroes of the current moment, a wait list generally forms, and Johnson right now has a hell of a long one.
Now the real question is, how does this play into the whole Hasbro Cinematic Universe discussion? We’ve heard rumor upon rumor that Hasbro is trying to develop something for 2018, would that something include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? That would feel like a logical step to take, but at this point it remains to be seen whether that would be considered “G.I. Joe 3” or something else entirely.
For many, many years a G.I. Joe film franchise was considered to be in development hell, and there was much rejoicing when it finally got the green light for 2009. Two moderately successful films later, it almost feels like we’re back in that in-between area. Hopefully news comes out in the next 12 – 18 months that changes this perception.
At any given time throughout 2015 it felt like a pretty slow news year for G.I. Joe, but as always, when you stop and look back, suddenly things don’t look quite so small.
Granted G.I. Joe product at retail was pretty much focused to a singular burst in late summer as the 50th Anniversary exploded, then faded, even though we got Convention product and FSS figures earlier in the year. With all that being said, it still feels like there were plenty of “banner moments” in G.I. Joe news for the year that was.
News was breaking right up until the last moment, and I’m actually a bit worried that if I post this prior to December 31st I might end up missing something!
Click the “read more” link below to check out the full list!
My first reaction, of course, is JOY. I absolutely love Joe, MASK, and Visionaries, and the mere fact that discussion of these three properties is occurring fills me with immense pleasure.
Of course my next reaction is how the heck is Hasbro going to tell a story featuring a modern military team and Knights of the Magical light and have it make any modicum of sense? Add that to Rom the Space Knight and the Micronauts, and even more confusion comes into play.
It’s funny, I could definitely see MASK and G.I. Joe co-existing on screen in a great way. I could see Visionaries, Rom, and Micronauts even existing in some strange pseudo magic-science cosmic universe. But somehow joining all five together? Very weird, although certainly not without precedence. One might point to Marvel’s success with Guardians of the Galaxy to point out how well a company can synergize more “real world” events with a more cosmic story arc, but Marvel spent half a decade building their universe around their characters. Will Hasbro and Paramount’s vision work the same way?
I guess it will be interesting to find out.
Meanwhile, I’m just ecstatic that there are two more Hasbro properties I’m enthusiastic about potentially getting a stronger focus in the coming years.
Paramount made waves last year when it announced a “writer’s room” with some heavy hitting film writers and developers who were all working together to build a cohesive universe for the continuation of the Transformers series of films with Michael Bay apparently stepping away from the franchise.
Well, according to Nerdist, a similar writer’s room is now forming on other Hasbro properties, including G.I. Joe and Micronauts.
This is an interesting conundrum for fans of G.I. Joe, because while a concerted team of folks working on future film development is certainly proof that Hasbro (and Paramount) are committed to investing in the future of the brand, it most assuredly means the next G.I. Joe film is likely still a few years away.
Perhaps that’s a good thing? While many fans felt that G.I. Joe: Retaliation was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t especially well-received by the movie going public, and the delay in release certainly didn’t set a good precedent either. With the recent financial hiccup with Jem and the Holograms, it seems that Hasbro is investing in this writer’s room to hopefully not make the same mistake with this next generation of G.I. Joe films.
Now, just because this writer’s room is happening doesn’t necessarily mean the first two Joe films are being wiped from Hollywood memory. After all, the writer’s room worked to develop Transformers 5, which is essentially a continuation of the film franchise.
How this all turns out is anyone’s guess, but the mere fact that this writer’s room is focusing on G.I. Joe is potentially good news for fans of the franchise. It’s proof that G.I. Joe’s future in Hollywood isn’t yet decided, and in fact steps are being taken to try and put together a powerful film franchise.
The leader of the writer’s room working on these other properties is Akiva Goldsman (the same man who led the Transformers team), though who the actual other members are, at this point, unknown. If some of the members remain the same, we could get some pretty powerful Hollywood talent focused on G.I. Joe, including Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead), Zak Penn (The Avengers w/ Joss Whedon), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), and Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant Man). Now it’s clear that these folks won’t likely all join Goldsman on the G.I. Joe film brand, but it’s still a fun thing to consider.