While in Las Vegas for CinemaCon, I got the opportunity to sit down with director Jon Chu and chat about G.I. Joe: Retaliation. We talk about why people who didn’t like the first Stephen Sommers film Rise of Cobra should give the sequel a chance, how his vision of a GI Joe movie is more rooted in the cartoons and toys of his (and my) childhood, reinventing Cobra Commander, how he got the job, what Paramount saw in films like the Step Up series and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never to earn him a chance at a Summer action film, demystifying the movie pitching presentation process and more.

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Update: GI Joe 2 star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has tweeted a confirmation that Bruce Willis has officially signed on to the cast in G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation. Original story follows.

Earlier this summer, we briefly mentioned a report that Bruce Willis was at the top of the wishlist for a certain role in G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation. Now it seems someone’s wishes are one step closer to coming true. Willis has entered talks to board G.I. Joe 2 in the part of General Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe. In the ’80s comic book series, the character is the one who forms the G.I. Joe strike team.

Directed by Jon M. Chu and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, G.I. Joe 2 will be the second installment in the film franchise based on the iconic line of toys. Read more after the jump.

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UPDATE: The new title is official. Wording below corrected.

With less than a year to the long rumored Star Trek 2 release date, and no start date in sight, it’s no surprise the film has been pushed back. Paramount announced that date so early, though, it pretty much scared off all competition. So with Trek now gone, June 29, 2012 finds itself as a prime, open, summer weekend and Paramount is jumping on it with another action franchise sequel. Deadline says that the Jon Chu helmed G.I. Joe sequel, now officall called G.I. Joe: Retaliation instead of G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes, will be released on June 29, 2012. It was originally scheduled to come out on August 10, 2012. Read More »

Jon M. Chu and the producers of G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes keep expanding the cast of the Joe sequel.  They’ve retained a few actors from the first film: Channing Tatum, Ray Park and Byung Hun-lee, and have roped in a couple of significant new cast members, notably Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock. RZA is on board, too, and now Adrianne Palicki from Friday Night Lights, who got some good notes for her work in the Wonder Woman pilot that NBC decided to can, will play the female lead: Lady Jaye. Read More »

Director Jon Chu is loading up the cast for next summer’s G.I. Joe 2. He’s bringing back Channing Tatum as Duke, we heard that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be playing Roadblock and now D.J. Cotrona is in negotiations to play Flint and The RZA will play the man who trained Snake Eyes, the Blind Master. Read more after the jump. Read More »

UPDATE: Dwayne Johnson fully confirmed this casting today via Twitter, saying “It’s official: Call the Pentagon, get me my big ass gun – Rocks a JOE!.” The original article from June 6 follows (with edits removing the then rumored title of “Cobra Strikes.”)

Next summer’s sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra now has a major star. Variety is reporting that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in talks to play Roadblock in Jon Chu‘s film, once rumored to be called G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes. Read more after the jump. Read More »

One sequel has a release date and a script, the other is still just conceptual, but both franchises are fan favorites. Jon Chu, the director of Step Up 3D and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is set to direct G.I. Joe 2 and once again geeked out in the press about his love of the franchise, hopefully inspiring fans everywhere who might be scared that the guy who directed Step Up 2 The Streets is at the helm of their beloved franchise. He’s conducted multiple interviews dropping a ton of information about what’s he’s got up his sleeve.

Then there’s Justin Lin, whose Fast Five is mere weeks away. He’s been rumored to be interested in directing a new Terminator movie, referred to as Terminator 5 and, in a recent interview, confirmed this and said that he’s even talked to Arnold Schwarzenegger about it. Read quotes from both directors after the jump. Read More »

With four wide releases opening this post-Oscar weekend, Hollywood news is predictably pretty slow. So we decided to throw together three smaller stories into one article just so you can get your weekend fix all in one place.

First up, Brian K. Vaughan, former writer on Lost and creator of Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina signed with a new agency: Verve. And while agency turnover is boring, buried in the Hollywood Reporter’s story about it is a nugget about Vaughan working on a screenplay he plans to direct and an update on Runaways. Interesting. Second, legendary Disney animator Glen Keane is reportedly not too happy with Disney’s upcoming slate of animated films and is being actively wooed by DreamWorks Animation. Also interesting. And finally, Paramount has set a release date for the Jon Chu-directed G.I. Joe sequel: August 10, 2012. Kind of interesting. Read more about all of this after the break.

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