There aren’t too many tent pole films left to be released this summer; the only three REALLY big films would be Public Enemies, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. That’s three more chances for Hollywood to either disappoint fans or blow them out of the water. Public Enemies and Harry Potter should be pretty safe bets for a solid performance but the G.I. Joe is still a project that could go either way.
Everyone has been talking about how bad they think the humor will be, how lame the action looks and those damn accelerator suits really have people’s knickers in a twist. But one thing I haven’t heard people bring up in awhile is the look of Cobra Commander (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
Screen Rant did report in February on the possible look of CC, based on the Hasbro toy from the movie but basically that’s all fans have seen so far. Cobra Commander has yet to make an appearance on any of the trailers, TV spots or print ads. Gordon-Levitt was announced months ago as the actor portraying the masked villain (or hooded, depending on which season of the cartoon you were watching), but other than the occasional interview he has been completely silent on the project (and his role in Christopher Nolan’s Inception as well).
Well, Gordon-Levitt recently sat down with NY Mag to talk about the role and the look of Cobra Commander:
“Yeah. My face is in it. There’s this crazy kind of getup that I wear. It’s got makeup and it’s got all this other stuff, and it’s a mask, basically. You can hardly tell it’s me. And that, to me, is the best. Doing G.I. Joe made it real easy to disappear because of all the elaborate stuff on my face.”
Gordon-Levitt goes on to talk about the makeup artist that did the makeup effects, Kazuhrio Tsuji, who is working under the tutelage of Rick Baker. That’s the same Rick Baker that did the fantastic makeup effects on Star Wars, Hellboy, X-Men 3, and Robert Downy Jr in Tropic Thunder. Tsuji has done the makeup effects for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Angels and Demons, and the upcoming Angelina Jolie action film, Salt.
Now, I like Joe Gordon-Levitt in everything from his role on Third Rock from the Sun to his overlooked performance in Brick. I have no doubt that he will do very well with whatever he is given, and regardless of what the Commander looks like, he will nail the role – although I must admit I always thought of Cobra Commander as being older.
There are only two reasons on why the studios would decide NOT to show Cobra Commander before the release of the movie.
1 – He looks incredible and they want to “WOW” us when we finally see him after letting the anticipation build for months.
2 – He looks ridiculous and they know it and don’t want the poor publicity to affect the opening week box office numbers.
Of course, it is also highly possible that we could be looking at another Godzilla fiasco here, where they hide the lead character until the movie’s release thinking it’s going to be awesome and then it turns out not quite so.
The one thing that really gets my dander up, though, is how Hollywood appears to be in a “maskless” phase right now. First Deadpool loses his mask in Wolverine, then Destro shows his face in G.I. Joe, while Rob Zombie feels it’s necessary to show us Michael Meyers’ face. What ‘s next? Will Disney take the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger? When will writers and directors start to understand that these characters became popular even though they have masks on (if not because of it)? It makes no sense to me whatsoever why studios feel it necessary to ruin the very thing that helps us associate the film character with the character we know and love.
What are your thoughts on Cobra Commander and his look?
GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra comes to theaters August 7th, 2009.
Source: First Showing