Back in January, I posted the potential good news that Stephen Sommers had been fired from directing the sequel to his atrocious live action ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra‘ movie. I speculated that – with a new director, new writers, and a complete recasting – perhaps there might be some hope for the sequel not to be as awful as the first film. So much for that. Paramount has named its new director, and the job went to the guy who made the recent Justin Bieber 3D concert flick. Really?
According to Deadline, Paramount has hired Jon Chu to direct the tentatively-titled ‘G.I. Joe 2’. Chu’s previous directing credits include ‘Step Up 2: The Streets‘, ‘Step Up 3D‘, and ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’. Does the studio somehow interpret his background making dance movies as appropriate to directing a military action adventure?
No doubt, Chu was probably chosen at the urging of star Channing Tatum, who worked with Chu previously in ‘Step Up 2’. Sadly, this means that Tatum will also be coming back. (Deadline confirms that a deal is in the works.) Can we expect Bieber to also join the cast as Lt. Falcon? Hell, given how messed up the casting of the last movie was, the Biebs will probably play Roadblock or something. (Roadblock does like to rhyme, after all!)
Considering that Chu’s last two movies were 3D, I think it’s a given that the new ‘G.I. Joe’ will be as well.
Perhaps I shouldn’t cast judgment so early? I’ll be honest that I’ve never actually watched any of the ‘Step Up’ movies or ‘Never Say Never’. Maybe they’re really good for what they are. (I will never know.) /Film ran some quotes from Chu about the project that suggest he may not be a total idiot (unlike Stephen Sommers):
The one thing I felt was missing from the last Joe movie was the power of the punch. You want Joe to be tough. They are fun, but they are tough. I feel that you don’t want to make Joe too kidsie.
[G.I.] Joe, to me, is iconic. It is as American as Coke and the Boy Scouts. To have that kind of history in a brand is so rare these days. And that is so powerful. So you can’t treat Joe like its just another action movie. You can’t treat Joe as just another petty commercial movie. Joe has history. Joe has always been a part of what America is, and now the world. What it means to be a leader and a hero. For me, it is about the fun stuff like Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, and all the gadgets. All of that stuff. But it has heart. Its heart is what America, and what heroes and leaders around the world, strive to be. I think that is what the brand needs. It needs the respect to be treated in that way.
Also, it’s not unheard of that a person previously known for bad movies might have one really good one in him. I never would have suspected Curtis Hanson capable of something like ‘L.A. Confidential‘ based only on ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle’ or ‘The River Wild‘.
Still, this undeniably feels like Paramount doesn’t give a crap about the franchise, and has merely thrown it into the hands of someone they know will work for cheap and has made the studio some decent cash recently.
On the other hand, we have some good news that Sienna Miller will not be reprising her role as The Baroness. The actress says about the first movie: “It was what it was, but I compromised my own values to a certain degree and I didn’t feel good about that.” Ummm, OK. Whatever, so long as she’s out of there. With luck, she’ll use the money she made from the last movie to take an acting lesson or two. That might be a good idea for her.