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.
On the surface this sounds like a very cool, very fun idea. Underneath the surface, I can’t help but wonder exactly how this is going to work.
The Hollywood Reporter posted an article today revealing a Hasbro and Paramount joint venture to unify the universes of G.I. Joe, MASK, Visionaries, Micronauts, and ROM into one connective cinematic universe.
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.
Check out the Hollywood Reporter’s article for more details.
(Visionaries image courtesy of the immensely talented stratosmacca on DeviantArt)
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.
Check out the latest news on the Nerdist article here, and to get an idea of what the Transformers Writer’s Room was trying to accomplish, check out this Deadline article for more info.
I set out to write this article, and was immediately surprised by the fact that there was actually some stuff happening with the G.I. Joe brand in 2014. I know the fandom is eager to jump and say that G.I. Joe was high and dry in this momentous year, and from a practical perspective, it was, but even so, there were lots of things happening this year worth exploring. Not on any grand scale, however.
I suppose that’s a commentary on the state of G.I. Joe these days, where it remains somewhat relevant, but just barely. And one is forced to ask what’s worse? Being totally irrelevant, or being just relevant enough to cling around, but not relevant enough to try and push harder. It’s like the brand is stuck in this murky middle ground where it’s got the slightest hint of popularity enough for Hasbro to keep it hanging on, but not enough to get a real push. Yet, until it fades away completely, it likely won’t get a full rejuvination either.
All that being said, there were still some discussion points throughout 2014, and here are my top 10. I’m going to try very hard to maintain a sense of positivity and optimism, because dammit I still love G.I. Joe, even if the rest of the world currently couldn’t give a crap. 🙂
Check out the list after the break.
Take this with a heavy dose of salt, but according to SchmoesKnow.com, the producer of G.I. Joe 3, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura has expressed serious interest in bringing Martin Campbell in to direct the third installment of the G.I. Joe film franchise. There has been some question about Jon Chu’s involvement over the past few months, and with him currently deep into the sequel of Now You See Mee, it would appear that Paramount is preparing to move in a different direction.
Keep in mind, this is far from a done deal, and in fact this seems to just be a “wish list” item and not even an actual contract signature, but it certainly has some interesting elements to it.
On the one hand, Campbell directed Green Lantern, one of the more ill-advised comic book films to come out in recent years, but some might argue that wasn’t the fault of the directing. I couldn’t say one way or the other, I could only sit through about twenty minutes of it.
However, on the other hand, Campbell was also in the director’s chair for the most seminal James Bond film of the past twenty years, Casino Royale. That movie propelled Daniel Craig to super star status and completely reinvented the James Bond brand. Those two films seem like such polar opposites I have a hard time wrapping my head around this rumor.
Time will tell. Head over to SchmoesKnow.com for the full story.