Ray Stevenson Cast as Villain 'Firefly' In 'G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes'

Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle in The Punisher War Zone

There's been a whole lot of casting for the heroic roles in Paramount's G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes over the past month, including Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock and Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye. Now the Hasbro sequel has secured an actor to portray one of Cobra Commander's minions in the film as well.

Marvel stalwart Ray Stevenson (Thor) is the man in question, having signed on to portray the villainous Firefly in the next installment of the G.I. Joe franchise.

Heat Vision has the scoop on Stevenson signing for Cobra Strikes, which is expected to begin production next month in Louisiana. Jon Chu will be taking over directorial duties from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra helmer Stephen Sommers on the leaner and meaner followup.

For those unfamiliar with the character, Firefly is a martial arts master who's well-renowned for his skills in the area of stealth, infiltration, and explosives. His true identity is kept a secret, even from his boss Cobra, and Firefly generally works alone on high-profile covert missions that call for his deadly talents. In the Marvel G.I. Joe comic book continuity, one of the first missions Cobra recruited Firefly for was the killing of Snake Eyes (Ray Park in Rise of Cobra/Cobra Strikes), who the Commander blamed for his brother's death.

The role of Firefly (a.k.a. the "Faceless Master") will be a switch from Stevenson's turn as the voracious Volstagg in Thor, but a promising new villainous turn for the man most people consider to have portrayed the best live-action incarnation of Frank "The Punisher" Castle.

Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle in The Punisher War Zone
Stevenson as Frank Castle

Between the few original faces returning from Rise of Cobra (including Channing Tatum as Duke and Byung Hun-lee as Storm Shadow) and the addition of franchise newcomers like RZA as the Blind Master and Elodie Yung as Jinx, most of the primary casting for Cobra Strikes has been complete at this point. However, there are still a couple of pivotal roles to fill.

Besides the part of "original" G.I. Joe, Joe Colton (who Bruce Willis is reportedly the current top choice to handle), recent reports say that the next important role that's yet to be filled is that of Mouse - the "teen eye candy" of the film, so to speak.

Here is how What's Playing describes the role of Mouse:

"A character from the Sgt. Savage and Screaming Eagles series, the 18-year-old Southern charmer is said to be a major player in the Paramount sequel... The idea, I believe, is to try and entice young teen girls into [seeing] the film."

Devoted G.I. Joe fans might not be so impressed to hear that a (pardon the term) less-experienced pretty boy will be throwing down alongside older and established action stars like Johnson or Stevenson in Cobra Strikes, but that looks to be the case regardless.

Director Jon Chu talks G.I. Joe 2

Chu has assembled an overall decent collection of action movie stars and starlets to fill the ensemble for Cobra Strikes, which will also be a lower-budgeted undertaking than its predecessor. Now we're approaching the point where G.I. Joe fans will have to wait and see if the director and his crew can in fact deliver the sort of hard-hitting military action flick they (or, rather, Chu) has been promising.

G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes is scheduled for theatrical release on August 10th, 2012.

Source: THR, What's Playing

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