No less than eight G.I. Joe: Retaliation character posters were released last week, featuring the sequel’s various new, returning and improved heroic/villainous players alike. An additional pair of character one-sheets have since made their way online – in the form(s) of an alternate pic with Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye (now, with desert camouflage attire) and Detroit 1-8-7‘s D.J. Cotrona as Flint – along with a Korean poster for the film.
You can see all three new promotional images in the gallery above. Be sure to also scroll on down for larger versions of each poster, plus excerpts from an interview where Retaliation director Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D) discusses casting big-name action stars like Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis – along with his explanation of how the Joe sequel works as a standalone reboot, a regular sequel and a throwback to classic Joe mythos.
On casting Willis as the “original” Joe (Colton) in Retaliation, Chu said the following (via THR):
“He was always our dream guy to play Joe Colton, the original Joe, [but] I didn’t necessarily know if he would ever do something like this. It’s such a very specific brand — the character Joe Colton exists, but not really. But the question I keep getting from people like my mom is, “well, who plays Joe?” And there is no Joe, but we had this character Joe Colton that we built into the movie that would help bring it back to the basics. That was a big part of the movie — these guys don’t have laser guns; they are relearning how to be a soldier all on the ground, how to be a leader, how to make moral decisions, all those things, reset it all. And Bruce is the guy [to anchor that]…”
With regards to securing “The Rock” to portray muscular BAMF (and skilled cook) Roadblock:
“That is what took us the longest. We were already doing design work, the costumes, the set work. Everything was like closing in and we did not have a cast yet, but we all knew that it was important to find the right guy that would set everything up. And when you look out in the landscape, who is that masculine action hero that isn’t just a pretty boy? Dwayne is that, and he’s charming and he’s family friendly… He comes from a military family — his cousin is in active duty I believe right now — and so he comes from a very real place. He’s like, this means a lot to me in terms of the military men and women out there and servicing that and their kids, to know that like their parents are heroes, and yes, we’re in a fantasy world, but it represents the same ideals…”
Check out Willis and Johnson – along with Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow – in the Korean Retaliation poster:
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On the topic of how Chu views Retaliation as a mix of Joe universe elements, both new and old:
“… You can’t discount the first movie at all — it was a huge and people loved it — but for me what I love about ‘Joe’ is that everybody has interpreted theirs different ways. The comic book interprets it in one way. Even in the cartoon series, they switched theme songs in the middle, and so everybody interprets it in a different way. So for me I was like, let’s jump to a different part of the Joe world. It’s the same world, but at a different point. So when I pitched it, that was the idea — let’s pay homage to the old stuff, but also do new stuff. G.I. Joe was ultimate mash-up before mash-up ever existed, so that’s perfect right now. And all the kids who don’t know anything about G.I. Joe, who only know ‘Call of Duty’, who stole all their stuff from G.I. Joe, let’s reclaim it and do it better.”
Lastly, as to whether or not Retaliation directly addresses the fate of those Joe characters from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra who were not deemed worthy to return in the followup:
“Yes and no. We address a little bit, but also leave some of it up in the air. But in my mind the movie was never about them, the movie is about our characters that you introduced from the beginning. We wanted people to come into this movie, and if you haven’t seen the first movie, be totally okay, which is actually pretty tough, because Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are hard to explain to somebody who had never seen G.I. Joe. But we leave some of it open, so you’ll see.”
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Passing over Chu’s diplomatic (but sure-to-be-contested) comment about people loving Rise of Cobra, the director’s decision to refashion the Joe franchise – so that Retaliation is closer to the down n’ dirty action thriller he envisions as a proper live-action G.I. Joe movie – has already won (and should continue to win) support from fans.
Of course, it helps that we’ve already seen enough footage from Retaliation – to suggest that, between the better casting decisions and grittier approach to Joe lore that Chu described, the director could very well deliver on his promise(s).
G.I. Joe: Retaliation hits theaters in the U.S. on June 29th, 2012.