Though some feel G.I. Joe: Retaliation was a slight improvement over its predecessor, many moviegoers and critics were underwhelmed by its nonsensical plot and lack of character depth (read our review). However, those flaws didn't stop the film from grossing more than $360 million worldwide, and after banking another hefty payday for the franchise, Paramount unsurprisingly greenlit G.I. Joe 3.
Based on how quickly things are moving along, it seems Paramount can't wait to get another G. I. Joe film in theatres. The studio has already recommissioned the services of Retaliation writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to pen the third installment and now we're learning that director Jon M. Chu will return for another round, as well.
Deadline is reporting that Paramount and MGM are currently finalizing a deal with Chu to direct G.I. Joe 3. Although Chu's first go-round with Paramount wasn't particularly easy - considering it was his first big-budget action film and the fact that the movie was pushed back 10 months for post-conversion to 3D - it should go smoother this time around since he already has experience under his belt.
Whether or not that newly acquired action directing experience will result in a better film is unclear. Some moviegoers were impressed by some of Chu's rather innovative set-pieces - including the mountain ninja battle - but the fact that he will once again be working from a script written by Reese and Wernick has many understandably concerned.
Of course, Paramount and MGM aren't the least bit concerned, because they've already proven that they can make a boatload of cash without a coherent story. Their plan to increase ticket sales overseas by post-converting the film to 3D worked, so maybe all audiences want or expect from the Joes is good old fashioned popcorn entertainment?
You could easily argue that, but there are fans of the original G.I. Joe cartoons who would like a little bit more substance, or at least some more engaging characters from the G.I. Joe universe, like Sgt. Slaughter or Bazooka.
Luckily, Reese and Wernick have already indicated that they plan on adding at least one character to the mix that audiences didn't see in the last film, The Baroness, played by Sienna Miller in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The writing duo said they want to "resurrect the Baroness like a zombie," which is interesting considering we didn't see her death onscreen in the first film. Maybe they didn't mean resurrect in a literal sense, but let's just hope the script is more clear regarding her reintroduction to the franchise. But considering Storm Shadow returned from the grave with no explanation in Retaliation, maybe we shouldn't even waste time worrying about the narrative making sense.
With the writers and director returning, some of the other main cast members - including Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock) and Channing Tatum (Duke) - will presumably re-enlist for G.I. Joe 3 as well. And with many of the same players coming back, we can also reasonably expect another action-focused, but hopefully visually stimulating G.I. Joe film. But no matter how it turns out, you can count on seeing more of the Joes and Cobras on a big screen soon.
Keep an eye out for more G.I. Joe 3 updates as the project continues to move along.