A number of sites today are pushing forward the story that G.I. Joe director Stephen Sommers has been locked out of the film’s editing room, based on a post from film producer Don Murphy’s message board (now removed), as noticed by Latino Review. The story is picking up steam, in part thanks to vaguely corroborative posts by people like Jeff Wells. And while I can’t verify the story, I have heard several really bad things about the film from a few informed sources. Common word is that it is a disaster for Paramount, and that a lot of unplanned post-production work was done to amp up the action and excitement factors and possibly just to make the thing watchable. Details of the original post from Murphy’s message board after the jump. Read More »
Parkour seems to be the new hot buzz word in Hollywood. It’s kinda like how all the story pitches last year tried to compare themselves to Children of Men (“It’s Die Hard meets Children of Men”).
Founded in France, the fast paced movement became the main focal point of the Luc Besson-produced 2004 action film District B13. English-speaking audiences will probably better recognize the technique from the opening chase sequence in Casino Royale. The movement has since found its way into other Hollywood films like Live Free or Die Hard and The Incredible Hulk and the video game Mirrors Edge. Parkour is key to the action sequences in Disney’s upcoming video game to film adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
And now hack directors are starting to adopt the buzz word. Van Hellsing director Stephen Sommers claims that his upcoming big screen re-imagining of Tarzan will incorporate the technique. According to Entertainment Weekly, the new Tarzan will be more like Pirates of the Caribbean, “with buffed-and-tanned actors flying through the jungle and sprinting up trees, parkour-style.” Wow, yeah, I have no faith in Sommers.
If you want to see a cool Parkour sequence, watch David Belle’s chase scene from District B13 after the jump.
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Hack director Stephen Sommers is replacing Guillermo del Toro to direct a live action adaptation of Tarzan for Warner Bros. THR reports that Stuart Beattie will co-write the project with Sommers. del Toro has been attached to the project since it was announced two years ago, but his commitment to The Hobbit has put him out of the running.
Normally if Sommers were to replace del Toro on a film project, I would be up in arms. But the story of Tarzan has never really interested me. And I’m glad Sommers will be confined to a movie I don’t care if he ruins while del Toro’s talents will be better suited to a film I do care about. Sommers, who is responsible for The Mummy films, The Scorpion King and the horrible Van Helsing, is taking a completely new take on the property, rather than adapt from the original book or previous films. Beatie worked with Sommers on G.I. Joe, which explains a lot… or nothing.
The poster above showcasing actor Channing Tatum as Duke popped up at the Cinema EXPO in Amersterdam, according to Film1. This is the first time we’ve seen the full title, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, for the big budget nostalgia actioner opening Summer 2009. Did anyone see this clip of Joseph Gordon Levitt, who plays Cobra Commander, emptying his “awesome” quota for the year when asked about the flick? It’s pretty spazztastic. For a film based on a section of Toys “R” Us from the director of Van Helsing, the buzz is suprisingly uppity and the costumes have been slick…in a “wow, that loaded kid at the end of the hall dropped $3,000 on paintball gear and ammo” way.
Discuss: Like the subtitle? What is your belief system when deciding to see a movie based on toys?
Paramount released the first photo on JoBlo of Rachel Nichols (Charlie Wilson’s War, Alias) in costume as Scarlett O’Hara in Stephen Sommers‘ live-action adaptation of GI Joe. Ranked Master Sergeant, red-headed Scarlett is the first female character in the GI Joe action figure line. Her weapon of choice is the crossbow (pictured in the promo photo), and her specialty is counter intelligence.
I really love the idea of a GI Joe live action movie because it could really be something way above and beyond any army or war-type film we’ve ever seen before. I’ve heard that the script is kind of a stinker, and having the guy who directed Van Hellsing direct also doesn’t inspire confidence. That said, both of the photos released so far from the studio, Snake Eyes, and now Scarlet are more bad ass than I could have ever imagined. They could have gone real corny with colored outfits trying to replicate the look of the original characters from the GI Joe universe. So far I’m really digging the far more realistic black combat gear.
You can see a higher resolution version of the new photo over on JoBlo.
G.I. Joe is scheduled to hit theaters on August 7th 2009.
Discuss: What do you think??
What is Dark Sky?
/Film reader Dort Druben sent in the following report:
So working at Culver Studios a few weeks ago I noticed a very ominous sign telling me subconsciously that if I entered through that doorway ninjas would descend upon me ripping my heart out of my chest before I could cross the threshold. Maybe that’s a bit extreme.
But I searched, wondering, what is, “Dark Sky”? The said sign is the attached image from my camera phone. I posed the question to some friends and didn’t think much of it.
Well I was back working at Culver Studios I noticed a truck “Dark Sky Transportation”. Then when driving off the lot after a tiring day I started passing “reserved” parking spaces. One caught my eye. Stephen Sommers. I hit reverse and looked again. DARK SKY: Stephen Sommers. Next to him, Lorenzo di Bonaventura. So there it is. DARK SKY is code for GI JOE. Now I don’t know if that is old news or not. But there it is. I don’t know if they’re shooting at Culver Studios or if its just the production offices. I do know that State of Play is happening at Culver Studios. That tiny lot is getting some big action.
Eleven days ago, the character of Duke in Stephen Sommers‘s much hated-on G.I. Joe was said to be down to three actors: Lost‘s Matthew Fox, Fantastic 4‘s Chris Evans and Channing Tatum from the upcoming MTV-does-Iraq-War flick Stop-Loss. AICN now says that Tatum is definitely Duke.
Tatum is 27, he was born in Alabama and if you’ve recognized him in anything it was probably the wobbly Shia LaBeouf flick A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints or the rare, naughty Anne Hathaway debacle Havoc. Slashfilm’s resident diehard G.I. Joe fan, Peter, is returning from Sundance shortly, so I’ll let him unleash the expletive-barking hounds of hell on this casting truthiness if he feels it necessary, but to me, Tatum is fine. I’ve seen the movies above, and I’ve seen him pop out a tear in the trailer to Stop-Loss, and all I really needed to see was the above photo to know he’s fine for this role.
Sommers coming aboard automatically zapped this movie into low-brow Cartoon Land, and no actor this side of George Clooney or Josh Brolin was going to save it. Tatum can pull off the role of an arrogant, affable cocky co-leader with a large firearm hanging off his shoulder. Let’s just hope he doesn’t bump into Rambo from Rambo because that would take more than the crime cleanup crew from Sunshine Cleaning to wipe up with a sponge and broom.
I really want to be excited for Paramount’s big screen Live Action adaptation of G.I. Joe, but Stephen Sommers is doing everything he can to turn off the key fanbase.
First Sienna Miller was cast in the film, a groan inducing announcement heard around the world. Storyline points leaked to the web and caused so much anger among fans that Hasbro had to make a public statement in an attempt to reassure the key fanbase. Then the tide began to turn when we announced exclusively that Ray Park (formerly Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I) had been cast in the role of Snake Eyes. Fans around the world were ecstatic, as Parks was a number one fan favorite for the role. A few more announcements were made, none of which seemed to elicit excitement or disappointment from the fans.
But I have bad and good news for you today. We’ll go with the bad first:
Marlon Wayans has signed on to play Ripcord in the upcoming film. Ripcord, real name Wallace A Weems, is the leader of the military unit and first appeared in February 1985 issue of the comic book series. That’s right, the guy responsible for all the horrible Scary Movie films… The guy whose last few starring roles included Norbit, Little Man, and White Chicks. This can’t be good news for anyone out there besides Wayans and his family. I honestly can not think of a worse person to be cast in this film.
On to the good news: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in negotiations to join the cast. Former childhood comic actor Gordon-Levitt has of recent years made a good name for himself in the indie film arena (Mysterious Skin, Brick, The Lookout).
G.I. Joe starts shooting in Los Angeles next month, and is scheduled to hit theaters on August 7th 2009.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Variety has now confirmed a rumor that hit the movie websites a couple weeks ago: The Mummy series director Stephen Sommers has signed on to direct a big screen live-action G.I. Joe movie. The studio is hiring a writer immediately, IESB is reporting that Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean, Collateral, Derailed, 30 Days of Night, Spy Hunter) is the man for the job. And they probably know, because they were the ones who broke this story a few weeks back. Paramount is fast-tracking the project for a summer 2009 release, which means production will begin this February. Variety claims that Sommers was officially hired after making a pitch to Paramount head Brad Grey and production president Brad Weston on Wednesday.
With characters like Cobra Commander and Serpentor, GI Joe has the potential to be an fun accessible army action film like never seen before. And with so many movies set in Iraq hitting the big screen, a Joe movie has the ability to offer something much different than the norm. Let’s hope Sommers doesn’t screw it up. I’ve genuinely hated most of his later films (Deep Rising, The Mummy Returns, Van Helsing). But I always stuck up for The Mummy.
I’m sure casting announcements will begin in a couple months. We’ll be able to tell what type of movie this could be when we start seeing a list of names. I’m betting that Sgt. Slaughter is probably too old to play himself in this one (which is probably a good thing). They also need to watch out how much patriotism they jam onto the screen. If they don’t get the dosage right it could piss of core conservative fans. If they put too much patriotism, it could scare off everyone else. Patriotism in large doses can be pretty scary. If done right, this could be the next Transformers (sans giant robotsâ€¦). If done wrong, it could come off as a long inforercial for the U.S. Army.
G.I. Joe started in 1942 as a WWII military magazine comic strip. In the mid-60’s the character became a series of military-themed 12â€³ articulated action figures produced by the Hasbro toy company. The company later relaunched the action figure line in a smaller, 3 3/4-inch scale in the early 80’s. A comic book and animated television series followed. Over the 1980s, G.I. Joe’s increasing popularity supported an array of spin-off merchandising that included posters, t-shirts, video games, board games, kites, animated movies, and an ongoing animated series.
According to IESB, Mummy series helmer Stephen Sommers knows something, and “knowing is half the battle!” That’s right, Paramount Pictures has offered Sommers the chance at making a live action G.I. Joe movie. With characters like Cobra Commander and Serpentor, GI Joe has the potential to be an fun accessible army action film like never seen before.
Sommers wouldn’t be my first (or second, or third…etc) pick as director, as I’ve genuinely hated most of his later films (Deep Rising, The Mummy Returns, Van Helsing). But I always stuck up for The Mummy, which was a fun but slightly cheesy action/adventure film. Sommers is capable of making a good action film. This is the type of movie which needs to be handled with care, because if something is done poorly in any any of the usual departments, it will kill the whole movie. Cast is key. They need a good ensemble cast to play the signature group of characters. I’m betting that Sgt. Slaughter is probably too old to play himself in this one (which is probably a good thing). They also need to watch out how much patriotism they jam onto the screen. If they don’t get the dosage right it could piss of core conservative fans. If they put too much patriotism, it could scare off everyone else. Patriotism in large doses can be pretty scary. If done right, this could be the next Transformers (sans giant robots…). If done wrong, it could come off as a long inforercial for the U.S. Army.
Sommers has been actively developing a big screen adaptation of Edwin Balmer’s When Worlds Collide. But now there is no word on what will happen to that project. I’m guessing that since it was still in the screenplay phase, it may be kept in development while Sommers tackles Joe.
G.I. Joe started in 1942 as a WWII military magazine comic strip. In the mid-60’s the character became a series of military-themed 12″ articulated action figures produced by the Hasbro toy company. The company later relaunched the action figure line in a smaller, 3 3/4-inch scale in the early 80’s. A comic book and animated television series followed. Over the 1980s, G.I. Joe’s increasing popularity supported an array of spin-off merchandising that included posters, t-shirts, video games, board games, kites, animated movies, and an ongoing animated series.