Jon Chu Says ‘G.I. Joe 2′ Will Be ‘Down & Dirty’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 31st, 2012 at 11:27 am,

GI Joe 2 lands official release date Jon Chu Says G.I. Joe 2 Will Be Down & Dirty

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra may only have been a moderate commercial success for Paramount, but it managed to rake in enough cash to warrant interest in a sequel – albeit with a lower budget and a streamlined cast.

For some, G.I. Joe was mindless guilty pleasure fun that had the good sense not to take itself too seriously. For others, it was an abomination of the G.I. Joe brand that took far too many liberties with the property. That sort of mixed reaction should make the development of G.I. Joe 2 fairly interesting to watch, since the studio now has to determine which group it should try and cater to.

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner indicated that the film would not be a complete reboot, but that it would feature a story that didn’t require any knowledge of the previous installment. That sort of loose connection strikes me as slightly problematic given how many plot threads were left dangling at the end of The Rise of Cobra, but most fans have an even bigger issue with G.I. Joe 2.

The decision to hire Jon Chu to direct the sequel seemed to surprise both the supporters and detractors of the original film. Chu’s resume includes Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, and the Justin Bieber documentary/concert film Never Say Never – to say he wasn’t an obvious choice is a bit of an understatement, I think.

Chu recently spoke with The Deadbolt and opened up about his plans for G.I. Joe 2 and his love for that universe. He reveals that he has a long-standing familiarity with the property and a very specific message that he wants his film to communicate:

“Well, for Joe, I grew up playing with G.I. Joes and watching Joe and reading the comics of Joe. It means so much to me. To me, it’s one of the few brands that has a soul, a multi-generational soul, where it’s about what it means to be a leader in the community, in your home, with your friends, and what it means to be a leader and a hero. I think that’s an important message right now in the world when everyone’s kind of questioning what it means to be the leader of the world.”

His comments might not make the skeptics any more optimistic about his involvement with the project, but it does sound like Chu’s taking a somewhat unexpected approach when it comes to the tone of the film:

“I think it’s not just another action movie. Maybe the first one was that, but we’re really trying to break it down and take the shine off and show that my Joes were the ones in the mud, the sand and the trees and in the epic worldwide adventures. Each one had individual talents. So we really want to bring the experience of what I grew up with playing with these toys. What it feels like so that kids now can be reintroduced to the Joes and experience it in a different way. This is like down and dirty Joe for me.”

jon chu gi joe 2 Jon Chu Says G.I. Joe 2 Will Be Down & Dirty
Chu also acknowledges that his previous films might not suggest that he’s capable of delivering a grittier take on G.I. Joe, but he insists that he understands how to use action as a form of visual storytelling:

“I mean, I can’t ever change what people think … In action, obviously it’s different, you’re doing a bunch of stuff. But the best action is action that’s telling your story, action that’s actually evolving your character. To me, I have a big challenge ahead of me. I want to do a really kick-ass movie, action that’s fun, big, crazy. But at the same time, at it’s core, the action is telling an emotional story about our heroes.”

I have no idea if Chu will ultimately be able to follow through with his intentions, but I do appreciate his understanding that the action should help push the story forward. Stephen Sommers tends to take a kitchen sink approach to his action scenes and I think G.I. Joe 2 would be better served by sequences that feel more dangerous and contain real consequences.

Of course, some might argue that Sommers’ desire to turn G.I. Joe into a live-action cartoon is part of what made the first movie work – or that it perfectly emulated the feeling of a being a kid playing with those toys. I’m not saying G.I. Joe 2 should be a full-on war film, but something in the middle of those two extremes could be a lot of fun.

G.I. Joe 2 hits theaters on August 10, 2012.

Source: The Deadbolt.

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  1. Don’t make it so politically correct and Un-American. Also, none of that “near future” BS.

  2. Ok John, if you seriously have read the books and the comics then show us what you plan on doing with the characters introduced and how badly they were handled in the first movie. Use the comics and the storylines they dealt with to good effect and also bring in the costumes as well. Be true to the source material and drop all the crap the first movie did wrong.

    No Marlon Wayons
    Return Storm Shadows costume and drop that Ninja Tux he was wearing
    Make Snake Eyes a vital part of the movie
    Bring back the Real AMERICAN HERO not a U.N. hero.

    When these changes come about them I for one will be more interested in the movie and not have to write it off as another crappy sequal to a bad movie.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Aleric.

  3. I was one of the poor chaps who spend $15 to see the first one in the theatre. Needless to say I was extremely dissapointed. Nothing in this article makes me want to make the same mistake twice.

  4. I hope he has seen Gi Joe resolute cause thats what im looking for in my live action joe movie

    • YES! You took the words right out of my mouth with that one.

    • No Resolute! That had Scarlett choosing to be with Duke and not Snake Eyes for some nonsensical reason, and was too close to the Sunbow cartoon. I want a movie that is faithful to the Larry Hama comic book storyline, and that means Snake Eyes and Scarlett all the way!

      • If he said he grew up reading the Larry Hama comics and actually sticks to that storyline i’m down. G.I. Joe is about soldiers so please don’t wuss it up and take out the reality of war. People bleed & die. Oh yeah, Snake Eyes mask doesn’t have lips so keep that garbage out. Also, this time around take some time developing the video game. The “Rise of Cobra” game was one of the worst games i’ve ever played. Make us Joe fans proud!

  5. I would love to see John introduce Quinn the Eskimo with his .50 cal browning and weasel skulls from the comics. He was my favorite character. Too bad they never made a figure of him.

  6. I don’t see the problem with making the Joes a U.N. force, I know the original material is American but let’s face it… that’s pompous and annoying to an international audience, we scream “WE’RE NUMBER 1!!!!!!!!!!” enough without it actually being true (militarily we are, oh woop-dee-doo for that).

    On the flip side, don’t screw this one up. I had to throw something when they revealed who Cobra Commander was and his mask and just… ugh, they really messed the characters up last time.

  7. With no Christopher Eccleston to tempt me this time I think I’ll give it a miss. Even he couldn’t save Rise of the Cobra.

  8. Jon Chu would be my hero if he opened Joe 2 with a faithful adaptation of the “Silent Interlude” comic… Opening credits, perhaps??

  9. This is a really bad LATE April Fools Joke . . . . right?

  10. If he means “DONW & GRITTY” by having a dance showdown at the end of the film… Then I’d rather watch G.I Joe RESOLUTE anytime…

    • it does have Channing Tatum
      Break it down!

  11. I’m probably one of the only people that actually liked the first GIJoe so I probably won’t be seeing this one if they aren’t continuing the story and tying up all the loose ends from the first one. Plus I’m just not sure that an action movie being helmed by a man who’s only done two tween dance flicks and a lame ass biography of the tween king

  12. That’s like saying dog poop smells good this time. :)

    Take off you hoser!

  13. Always enjoyed GI Joe, the 80s cartoon. But now that I think about it, isn’t deadpool a generic version of snakeyes? While snakeyes never talked his counterpart can’t stop talking, and both are owned by Marvel.

  14. I’m pulling for Chu. I think people are underestimating him. I don’t give a damn about Beiber and wouldn’t watch Never Say Never if you paid me, but the dance sequences in his two Step Up movies are spectacular.

    What do dance sequences have to do with directing an action movie you say? I don’t know, why don’t you ask John Woo, who lists West Side Story as his favorite and most infuential film. Dancing is motion and motion is action. Dancing and movie-action are both choreography. Most Kung-Fu movies owe a hell of a lot more to dance than they do to actual fighting.

    I don’t know if John Chu can tell a good story or not – the story parts of the Step Up films were awful – but I do know that he knows how to choreograph, shoot, and cut scenes of people doing amazing things with their bodies so, I have little doubt that at least the action in G.I. Joe 2 will be better than the first, even if the movie still sucks.

    • What do dance sequences have to do with directing an action movie you say? I don’t know, why don’t you ask John Woo, who lists West Side Story as his favorite and most infuential film. Dancing is motion and motion is action. Dancing and movie-action are both choreography. Most Kung-Fu movies owe a hell of a lot more to dance than they do to actual fighting.

      “John Woo did a whole lot of action films that revolutionized the action film genre in HONG KONG even before he directed films at the U.S

      Compared to chu that has done mostly dance films or justin beiber films.”

  15. Chu, no shaky cam will mean you’re 50% of the way to a good movie.

  16. Joe is Doomed!!!!!!

  17. Now this is some exciting news – I mean, if you are going to make a crap movie then REALLY make a CRAP MOVIE!


  18. “Down and dirty?” The first film was already too violent! GI Joe should be kid-appropriate. It’s a toy line, fer cryin’ out loud! (For those who haven’t seen it, the first GI Joe was bloodier than both Transformers movies added together.)

    I actually liked the first movie. My son would’ve loved it, but there was way too much blood. I hope Chu makes something that we can enjoy together — after all, when I was into GI Joe, I was just a kid too. I don’t need GI Joe to be “gritty.” There are plenty of grown-up properties for that.

      • Um, the reason GI Joe was bloodier than the Transformers films was because the people who made it decided that it would have more blood than the people who made Transformers did.

        What’s “bull” is the idea that a GI Joe movie needs to have exploding heads and people getting stabbed through the chest in close-up.

        Grow up.

        • Hey I’m no fan of graphic violence but it could of been worse. We all have our own opinions though.