Producer Tries To Defend G.I. Joe; Fails

IESB had the lucky chance to chat with G.I. Joe producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura the day after the third (or is it fourth?) fan backlash against the live action big screen adaptation (Coincidence, I think not!). If you haven't been following, yesterday it was announced that Marlon Wayans was cast as Ripcord (Boooo!) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in negotiations to join the film (YAY!). di Bonaventura attempts to defend the Waynes decision by telling us that there wasn't a "person who didn't think it was a no-brainer." Ummm What?:

"When we were trying to figure out who would be the right element to make this combination work of Duke as the leader and Ripcord as the best friend who sorta gets Duke in trouble all the time and Duke has to bail him out all the time and have fun with him, we needed a guy who's gonna be funny and we needed a guy who was going to be a good actor. And we went to Marlon and said, "We'd love to talk to you." And he's a gigantic GI Joe fan and immediately asked, "is Cobra in it, is Destro in it?" I mean before he even got to read the script he was so much fun to talk to because he understood what it was. So he got it immediately, and when we did the test."

"It was frankly the easiest casting decision we've made in the movie once we saw the test."

"...He's playing a military character who's got some real good quips but he's got to be good, he's got to be physical, and I mean Marlon is a strapping guy, he's got good size to him. So, I think the fans will feel, when they see him, that he is playing the solider that they anticipate anyone from the G.I. Joe group to be.

Other tidbits include:

  • They have not yet cast Destro but have narrowed the list down to about 4 or 5 names: "All of them are of the English, Irish, Scottish persuasion shall we say."
  • Destro, Zartan and Hawk will be announced in the next two weeks.
  • "In the comic book, you don't know where the location of the Pit [G.I. Joe headquarters] is. So, the idea that it's based in Brussels is false, the idea that it is a European base or an international kind of organization is false. It is the G.I. Joe Organization."
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in talks to play a Villain role
  • "Duke is absolutely the embodiment of what the pre-83 Joe is. And what the pre-83 Joe is The Real American Hero"
  • They again have the U.S. Army's support.
  • "There is an international aspect, we're travelling around, we're going to be a lot of places and it's going to be really fun, it doesn't make it an isn't the fear that everyone is having, we just want to have different places around the world to give the movie scope."
  • They are not currently planning for a sequel or spin-off film.
  • Assumption is that the movie will be PG-13, but definitely not R (Read: could possibly be PG).
  • Shooting begins in a mere five weeks but di Bonaventura is making idiotic statements like "we're looking at it from a budgetary standpoint and how many characters can we afford." Doesn't sound good to me. But don't worry Joe fans, Lorenzo promises that "if you're a Joe vs. Cobra fan, then you will be feel incredibly happy about the movie." I've always wanted to "feel happy" about a movie...

    You can read the full interview on IESB.