Paramount is pressing ahead full-steam with G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes, as to ensure the sequel makes its release date in Summer 2012 - since it's already down one tent-pole pic for the season, with Star Trek 2 now being all but "officially" delayed. Hence why the casting process for Hasbro's new film has been moving faster - with stars like RZA and D.J. Cotrona having joined the project over the past week.
Now Friday Night Lights actress Adrianne Palicki is the latest addition to the cast of the new G.I. Joe adventure - which she'll be available to star in, since the pilot for her would-be Wonder Woman TV show reboot was not picked up by NBC.
According to Deadline, Palicki will be playing Lady Jaye in Cobra Strikes, which is nearing the completion of primary casting at this point. The next big part to be filled is that of "the original" G.I. Joe, Joe Colton. Bruce Willis reportedly tops the list of big names wanted for that role.
The Lady Jaye character was introduced in the 1984 animated G.I. Joe: The Revenge of Cobra mini-series as a highly-qualified covert operations specialist for the Joes with a relatively mellow temperament (unlike her later comic book incarnation). Lady Jaye is also generally portrayed as the ultimate "chameleon actress," being readily capable of impersonating an individual's voice or mannerisms.
In Revenge of Cobra, Lady Jaye also led a romance with Flint, who'll be portrayed by Cotrona in Cobra Strikes. There's no word yet if sparks will fly between the two in the live-action sequel - but it wouldn't be all that shocking.
It looks as though the only characters from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra that are set to return in the followup will be Duke (Channing Tatum), Snake Eyes (Ray Park), and Storm Shadow (Byung Hun-lee). They will be joined by the likes of Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, Elodie Yung as Jinx, RZA as the Blind Master, and, as mentioned before, Cotrona and Palicki as Flint and Lady Jaye. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has already confirmed that he will not reprise his role as The Doctor/Cobra Commander in Cobra Strikes - thus setting the stage for another actor to offer their take on the megalomaniacal military leader.
Director Jon Chu is gearing up to begin production on Cobra Strikes in New Orleans by the end of this summer. The film is being conceived as an overall cheaper production (hence the smaller cast, budget reduction, and change in shooting location) than its predecessor, which still managed a worldwide theatrical gross of 0ver $302 million back in 2009 - but was not considered enough of a financial hit for Paramount/Hasbro to justify spending another $175 million (or more) on the next installment.
As it were, Chu has already talked up the idea of designing a G.I. Joe sequel that works as a gritty and unpolished action movie - one that also better emphasizes the unique talents and capabilities of the G.I. Joe team members than Rise of Cobra did. Whether or not he can deliver on that promise is another matter.
G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes is slated for theatrical release on August 10th, 2012.