Following the success (both financial and critical) of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Paramount has chosen director Jon M. Chu to direct the sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Deadline reports the competition came down to Chu, Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen) and Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown), but Chu is currently working out a deal with the studio.
Other than Justin Bieber documentaries Jon M. Chu has previously directed Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D, but in an interview with MovieWeb the director (who was still on the studios short-list at the time) said he doesn’t want to turn G.I Joe 2 into “just another petty commercial movie.”
[T]he 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.
Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have written the script, so it should be good, and the aim is to begin filming later this year for a summer 2012 release. The next aim for Paramount is to get the cast back, which shouldn’t be too difficult as many signed multi-picture deals. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura said last year that while all the cast were great, “it’s hard to manage as many characters as we tried” and that “it would make life a little easier to have a few less”, so some won’t be returning.