G.I. Joe: A Real (International?) Hero

Published 8 years ago by

gi joe G.I. Joe: A Real (International?) HeroI was reading up on the latest, apparently official G.I. Joe news, and I can’t help but feel bummed out. According to Paramount, because of the so-called current “political climate”, G.I. Joe will effectively be a United Nations-style organization called “Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity” (Do ya get it? Cool, huh?).

According to an article at the movie news site Ain’t It Cool News, the studio and producers want to reach a wider, international audience (okay), but apparently aren’t sure a movie about American soldiers will fly.

That’s right, the producers are afraid that characters that have been an American staple for many, many decades and touched the lives of children of many generations (including my father and myself) will offend everyone outside (and probably, in their minds, inside) America. And thus, they begin destroying one of the most iconic fictional characters in American history.

I’m linking to the AICN article at the bottom of this post, and I think that Merrick (one of the writers for that site) sums up how I feel. This just makes no sense to me and it seems the producers are acting in an outrageously politically correct fashion, and not in the best interest of the property.

Can you imagine if this were a character from another country, and producers changed the characters’ location, culture, etc., because they were afraid the rest of the viewing audience around the world would hate it because of that?

I say let the market decide. I loved Transformers and had very few problems with the changes they made, but this is just ridiculous. Attention producers and Paramount: Please, please, PLEASE don’t make such a bad decision with the G.I. Joe movie! I know you’re rushing this into production because of the potential writer, actor and director strikes (don’t get me started on the alleged Teen Thor…), but don’t destroy a truly American icon!

Unless maybe you think you’re on to something and can re-tool the upcoming Captain America movie in to Captain International

Source: Ain’t It Cool News (read Merrick’s reaction which I agree with)

TAGS: Gi joe
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  1. This is just whacked, and yet another stunning example of using the good name of an existing, long-standing property to produce a film that has very little to do with the source material.

    Freaking retarded and heinous in it’s intent at just cashing in on the well-known name.


  2. Amen, Vic. Amen.


  3. I’ve never posted here before but im a regular reader. I just wanted to say that im from the uk and grew up watching “GI JOE” and I had the toys too, but over here it was known as “Action Force, International heroes”. I new it was called GI JOE in the states but up until a year ago when I bought the animated movie on dvd did I discover it carried the tag “Real American Hero”. granted in this climate if felt quite unsettling watching the opening sequence were you see a blonde, blue eyed man (Duke) grab the flag and fly on top of the statue of liberty. The uk also had a different theme tune and call, americans got “yo joe” while we had “full force” which I thought sounded better. Anyway the point im trying to make was that a simple change in name made alot of difference, foreign markets could identify with it more as opposed to being all Joe American, saying that though, the Joe team was in my opinion quite multi cultural racially which I think was a good move on the creators part. Bottom line I don’t mind if they made the Joe’s a united nations type of group, but they should be based in America not Europe. Americans need to realise that just because the studio decides to change their military status does not mean that all the characters are going to be all Europeans, there will be Americans too so just relax.

  4. I’m not worried about that, it’s just that they’re NOT changing the name and nation of origin for specific markets, but instead they’re doing it everywhere. Imagine if they took Action Force (and GI Joe didn’t exist) and quit making it British. That would stink.


  5. Hi Tino,

    Thanks for finally chiming in on a topic! :-)

    Best regards,


  6. Why do i go to these sights? I just get myself all depressed by the studio’s madness. GI Joe is an American force, not a U.N. militia. What in the hell are they doing? Now, i’m scared to death about what could potentially happen to one of my all time favorite heroes, Captain America. Imagine what the studio execs will want to do to him. They’ll take the red,white, and blue costume away for sure. Hell, they may even change his name. That happens, I’m going postal! I honestly thought things couldn’t get worse after the butchering of my beloved Fist of The Northstar. But for me, this castrating of the American identity is much worse.

    Negro, OUT!~
    The tiger (((Roarrrrrs!)))

  7. This is what I like to call: “Making artistic decisions based on non artistic criteria”.

    I remember reading an op ed article online a few months back complaining that “Ratatouille” Should have featured female versions of Remy and Linguini instead of those characters. Why? Because Pixar doesn’t have enough female leads in their movies.

    Whether it’s that, or that all things American these days are out of vogue because of the current opinion overseas, these are not artistic concerns. Indeed for fans of the animated GI Joe, (and I wasn’t really a fan of that one) this is going to be viewed as nothing more than political correctness run amok.

    Making GI Joe part of an international force for audiences in the States makes about as much sense as casting Matt Damon as the next Dr. Who.

  8. Mannn… if true, this is some bad news for sure. I grew up with these ’80s classics and it just annoys me to no end when they don’t respect the original material.

    G.I. Joe already had a very international appeal because of the multicultural characters. That right there would reach to a wide international audience. I understand the PC reason of trying to lighten the American theme, but that can be done without having to completely change the source material. All they have to do is make the movie so it’s not so in your face American and like some U.S. military recruiting ad.

  9. I’m gonna be Mr. Controversial and admit this news really doesn’t bother me…

    Perhaps it’s because I’m Australian. Perhaps it’s because I truly believe a popcorn film based on a children’s property with purely American soldiers really would fail on the international market. I dunno.

    I can respect where you fans are coming from… but, personally, my only interest in G.I. Joe was in the late ’80s with the extremely multi-cultural action figures. In spite of the ‘Real American Hero’ tagline, I guess I just never thought of the property as central to any particular nationality. Perhaps there’s some beauty to be found in that.

    If the UN-style group is based in the States, most characters are American and they fight for the great American ideal (hardy-har-har) of ‘truth’ and ‘justice’, it really won’t be such a huge alteration.

    I just hope it’s nothing like ‘Street Fighter’.

  10. Great comments all around. But Adrian, name a totally Australian pop icon and then imagine re-working it so it’s not Australian anymore. It’s like someone mentioned casting Matt Damon as Dr. Who. It just doesn’t work.

    And as Merrick at AICN says, why can’t we have American heroes?

  11. Hi Tino,

    Thanks for finally chiming in on a topic! :-)

    Best regards,


    Thanks Vic, I came upon this site via Obsessed With Film and have enjoyed reading the news here and listening to your blogs. Your views on Justice League Unlimited aside I tend to agree with a lot of what you say lol.

    With regards to GI JOE I just hope they deliver a kickass movie with tons of action, great characters, hi-tec vehichles and weaponry and a genuine world threat in the form of Cobra. If it delivers on all these aspects then I would be very happy.

  12. and i thought that whole teen thor thing was bad
    this is just ridiculous the only good thing about it is i will save money wont see it no way no how

  13. Heath… the name’s Kane… surely you know that by now, right?

    Anyway… I don’t want to downplay the frustration everyone’s feeling about this, since I totally understand your point of view. I just don’t have a problem with it… personally.

    Wow… that word (‘personally’) seems to need repeating an awful lot around here, doesn’t it? See the Catwoman posts as Exhibit A.

    As for me and Australian icons… you know what? I can’t think of one. For starters, the only Australian comic-related character I can think of is Pyro and his Americanisation in the ‘X-Men’ franchise didn’t bother me one bit. As for others that are more well-known and particularly loved by Australians, Mad Max comes to mind and – again – I don’t look at him as necessarily having to be from my country.

    Honestly, I’m just not that patriotic. Patriotism… to me… PERSONALLY… is a double-edged sword that sound great on paper and in a Presidential speech but, from where I sit, rarely does anything but divide people.

    We can be pretty sure the core characters in G.I. Joe WILL be American… they WILL be heroes… and, unless they hand this over to Robert Zemeckis… the WILL be ‘real’.

    I dare say this UN-style team WILL also be based on US soil.

    Apart from a small technicality and a few presumably foreign characters, I just don’t see how the end result is going to be that noticeable.

    As always… I could be wrong… but, for the moment, I just don’t see any of this as a big deal.

  14. Well it certainly makes for lively discussion. :-)


  15. Kane,

    I’m working with a Cinematographer named Adrian, that’s why I think I wrote that! ARGH! I’m all for multiracial/religions in the GI Joe infantry, but UN? Ugh…

    What a lively discussion, indeed! We’re a bit more civil than other sites, I think.


  16. I’m an American and was a die-hard GI Joe fan as a kid — and it doesn’t bother me at all.

    I had a friend in middle school who lived in Germany on an army base for a while. He always said that over there it was GI Joe, a Real International Hero. So, I guess I’m already used to the idea. Besides, I’m real skeptical that the movie would be any good anyway.

  17. ‘Those touchy people in the Middle East’, huh? Hmmm… to respond or not to respond? That is the question.

    This is a light-hearted film forum, so I don’t wanna waste my time explaining world politics and the realities of the last few years to someone who clearly knows little to nothing about it.

    Having said that… I just want to point out that this talk of American ‘compromise’ and ‘pleasing others’ is a bit ludicrous, isn’t it? You are talking about the so-called ‘leader of the free world’ here – the all-powerful country that basically holds the entire planet in the palm of its hand. If America is gonna play world sheriff – forcing others to compromise and please them repeatedly – I don’t think a little sensitivity to those disenfranchised with the current state of things is too much to ask for.

    Besides, I seriously think you’re all over-reacting big time. I doubt the changes will even be very noticable unless you care what the title stands for…

    As for Captain America, I’m sure he will remain stereotypically ‘American’, though I’d expect this will play out through his outdated war-time ideals juxtaposing with the more open worldview of today. I actually think that’s what could make it interesting… not to mention the only way that costume could work.

  18. Let’s watch the rhetoric here folks, or I’ll be locking down this thread faster than you can say “Yo! Joe!”


  19. Kinda late here, but speaking as someone of a different nation and ethnicity, I don’t really mind it either way. Frankly, I grew up with the series in the 80’s and actually found it rather terribly sounding when the theme song changed “A Real American Hero” into “An International Hero.” But that aside, it was a multicultural group of soldiers going to different countries fighting off a terrorist group with no affiliation to any country. This change makes a lot of sense to me. I mean G.I. JOE as a organization’s name must mean something more than representing a title to American soldiers. They’re not messing the premise all that much (unless we’re going back to the origin of the 60’s toyline). If anything I just don’t want them to change to costumes too much. It’s what I didn’t like about the X-men movies, all black jumpsuits.