The latest additions to the aforementioned acting team look to be none other than Wu-Tang Clan co-founder RZA as the Blind Master and actor D.J. Cotrona (Windfall, Detroit 1-8-7) as the academically-inclined warrant officer, code-named “Flint.”
Heat Vision says both actors are in negotiations to join Chu’s follow-up to the 2009 movie, which will also feature new additions like Elodie Yung (District 13: Ultimatum) as the martial artist Jinx and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the bulky soldier (and excellent chef) Roadblock.
Both Jinx and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) are students of the Blind Master, who was only referenced in the animated G.I. Joe universe; however, the literally blind sensei did make an appearance in issue #59 of the Joe comic book series, “Divergent Paths”. The character would be the third martial arts warrior portrayed by RZA onscreen, following his turn as the “Samurai in Camoflauge” in Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai and the musician-turned-actor’s upcoming directorial debut, The Man With the Iron Fists – though he also previously lent his voice to the TV movie Afro Samurai: Resurrection. So, clearly, this is a role right up his alley.
Flint, by comparison, is easily recognized due to his trademark shotgun and beret. The tactical officer is a Rhode Scholar who made his way through Airborne School, Ranger School, Special Forces School, and Flight Warrant Officers School – graduating from each with top honors.
Chu says he’s planning a more down and dirty take on the Joe mythology than Stephen Sommers’ 2009 G.I. Joe movie – hence why the sequel will reportedly neither be shot in nor converted to 3D (to allow for a more unpolished visual aesthetic). The sequel is being scripted by Zombieland duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, which bodes well for the action-packed followup; by comparison, five different writers worked on the story and script for Rise of Cobra, which arguably suffered from having too many cooks working in the kitchen, so to speak.
Production on G.I. Joe 2 is slated to begin in New Orleans this August, with only Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Lee Byung-hun (Storm Shadow), and Channing Tatum (Duke) reprising their roles from the previous film. So expect to hear a lot more casting news and updates for the sequel over the next four weeks, as (this still being a Hasbro movie) the sequel will undoubtedly try and feature as many well-known Joe characters as possible – partly for marketing tie-in purposes, that is.
G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes is scheduled for theatrical release on August 10th, 2012.