Some cast changes in the wings for G.I. Joe sequel

So, some further information about the Jon M. Chu hire comes from Heat Vision, part of the Hollywood Reporter.

First and foremost, they confirm reports that Chu as the director is pretty much a done deal, but they also start talking about the potential for returning cast members.  To no one’s surprise, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is likely out, mostly due to his dance card being full after being thrust into the limelight with Inception.

They also specifically mention Sienna Miller and say that she doesn’t look hopeful to return as The Baroness, and that in fact, the role may end up “being recast or perhaps divided into a couple of new characters.”

Interesting.  Sounds to me like they’re trying to separate themselves a bit from the whole Baroness/Duke/Cobra Commander triangle, which was one of the things I totally disliked about the original film.  They also mention that the first priority is getting Channing Tatum back for Duke, which honestly, was probably the thing I disliked second most.  But he is a larger draw these days and he could put butts in seats.

So, not a big fan of the director, but I have some faith in the writing team, and some of the writing is on the wall that the folks behind this film understand what went wrong with the first film, and steps may be taken to try to craft something a bit more recognizable this time around.  Let’s all hope.

So yeah, that whole Thundercats cartoon

Apparently the trailer debuted on Cartoon Network last night.

Ummm…  yeah.  Wow.

Looks very fantasy based, and so far, a lot of stuff taking place on Thundera, and not so much Third Earth.  Animation looks smooth and nicely done.  Bring it on.

Jon M. Chu in line to direct G.I. Joe sequel

So, according to it’s all but a done deal and Jon M. Chu will be the next director in the G.I. Joe motion picture franchise.  So, what does this mean, in the grand scheme of things?  Eh, who knows?  All I know is the only Hollywood motion pictures Chu has directed were Step Up 3D and Never Say Never starring Justin Bieber, which leaves me with little confidence that he can handle a potential big budget action blockbuster.

Does that mean he can’t do it?  No.  It just leaves me with little confidence.  I really struggle to figure out how Paramount thinks a director who has spent much of his career filming song and dance videos and films is the right guy for a fast-paced action film, but hey, maybe they know something I don’t.

Now I won’t sit here and say this film now has no hope.  I feel good about the writing team.  I feel good that (unlike the first film) there is actually a cohesive writing process, instead of dealing with a writer’s strike and making things up on the fly.

There was also a quick little interaction at JoeCon last year between Alan Hassenfeld and one of the media directors during the Hassenfeld presentation, where it was abundantly clear that Hassenfeld wasn’t especially happy with how the Joe brand had been perceived post Rise of Cobra, and that we should all expect (and deserve) better.

Time will tell…we now have an official starting point and probably a good two years of build up before we find out what the pay off is.  Hopefully it’s worth the wait.  Thanks to Mysterious Stranger for passing the information along.