It has been over three years since G.I. Joe: Retaliation was released in theaters. That film, which had a reported $135 million budget, ended up being relatively successful after hauling in a little over $370 million at the worldwide box office. That total makes Retaliation the most successful Hasbro adaptation not featuring the Transformers. While Retaliation brought back Channing Tatum (as Duke), Ray Park (as Snake Eyes), and Byung-hun Lee (as Storm Shadow) from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the sequel ultimately focused on new characters. Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicky, and Ray Stevenson joined the cast, but the most prominent addition was that of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Roadblock.
Even before Johnson joined the G.I. Joe franchise (and since then) his star has been on the rise, to put it mildly. Johnson, albeit in a skit, has referred to himself as "Franchise Viagra", for reinvigorating the Fast & Furious series, which he joined in Fast Five. He was likely responsible for much of Retaliation's box office success too. So, it is no surprise that if Paramount and Hasbro were to move forward with a third installment in the franchise, they would want to do so with The Rock onboard. The only problem? He is an extremely busy man.
Leading up to the release of his next film, The Magnificent Seven, actor Byung-Hun Lee spoke with LRM at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he was queried on the status of a third G.I. Joe movie. In response, Lee explained that “I heard from the studio that there’s a possibility to do the third one, but I think they’re waiting for the actors’ schedules.” Specifically, he stated that, “They’re arranging the schedules for the actors, especially Dwayne Johnson.”
It makes complete sense that the studio would wait to move forward until they can work things out to bring back Johnson as Roadblock. Since G.I. Joe: Retaliation was released in theaters, Johnson has appeared in two hugely successful sequels to Fast Five, played Hercules, saved his daughter from an earthquake in the box office hit San Andreas, and kicked some butt with Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence. Add in that Johnson has been starring in HBO's Ballers, and you can tell that his popularity could not be any higher - and his schedule not easy.
Still, before Johnson has any time to work on G.I. Joe 3, he will have to finish up his responsibilities to the many films he already has in development. He is setting to work on Jumanji next and will be promoting such movies as Moana, Baywatch and Fast 8 thereafter - before starring in Shane Black's Doc Savage in 2017 and, sometime afterwards, playing Black Adam in Shazam. So, while it would certainly be fun to see Johnson return as Roadblock, it looks like it will be some time before his schedule frees up enough for that to be possible.
We will keep you posted with any updates regarding G.I. Joe 3 as they become available.