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G.I. Joe 2 Gets a Director: Now You Said Never and Never Saying Never is Half the Battle

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | February 28, 2011 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | February 28, 2011 |

Oscars? Razzies? Finding Your Spirit Animal Awards? Yeah right, I know what you’ve really been waiting for over the weekend. Any news that you can possibly get on G.I. Joe 2. And what magnificent news we have … the director of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Taj will be Jon Chu, otherwise known as the man who brought you Bieber and multiple entries in the Step Up franchise.

Need more details to salve the passionate rash that bubbles up at news of this franchise? Chu did an interview in which he disseminated some exquisite nuggets on his approach to the film. Let’s dissect the quotes like the formaldehyde-soaked fetal pigs they so resemble.

“The one thing I felt was missing from the last Joe movie was…”

Characters? And a plot? And a point?

“…the power of the punch.”

That sounds like an 80s anthem that would play during a training montage of Cobra Kai in the Karate Kid … oh sweet violated childhood, is he trying to say that the Cobra Kai grew up to form Cobra from G.I. Joe? Will Serpentor sweep the leg? Is Snake Eyes actually Daniel-san? We’re going to need Glen Beck’s blackboard to make complete sense of these revelations.

“You want Joe to be tough. They are fun, but they are tough. I feel that you don’t want to make Joe too kidsie.”

Of course, the last thing you’d want to do is make a film based on a cartoon that appealed to 6 to 12 year old boys appeal to kids.

“Joe, to me, is iconic.”

At no point in the interview does he actually say “G.I. Joe,” he only calls it “Joe.” Which is exactly the sort of thing that you expect marketing committees who churn out these movies to do. But it’s even funnier if you imagine that Jon Chu has an imaginary friend named Joe who he thinks this movie is about. And it’s catastrophically funny if as you read you replace every time he says “Joe” with “Jesus.”

“It is as American as Coke and the Boy Scouts. To have that kind of history in a brand is so rare these days.”

Yes, the greatest problem confronting America today, and the sort of artistic crisis I always hope that movie directors bring up, is that there just isn’t enough brand recognition these days. It says a lot about someone if when asked to complete the sentence “as American as _______ and _______” they answer with two brand names instead of “baseball and apple pie.”

“And that is so powerful.”

Like a Coca-Cola enema. And then he smiled and his teeth actually dinged.

“So you can’t treat Joe like its just another action movie. You can’t treat Joe as just another petty commercial movie.”

Exactly, Joe isn’t just another petty commercial movie, it is the apex of petty commercial movies.

“Joe has history. Joe has always been a part of what America is, and now the world.”

Date of first G.I. Joe: 1964
Date of American independence: 1776
Years of G.I. Joe vs. years of America: 47 vs. 235

So G.I. Joe has existed for exactly 20% of American history, which is a generously low threshold for the word “always.” If I’d known the threshold for “always” was that generous, my life would have been a lot easier to this point. In other news, Jon Chu insists that he “always” wears clean underwear. Make of that what you will.

“What it means to be a leader and a hero. For me, it is about the fun stuff like Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, and all the gadgets.”

Wait is it about America? Or leadership? Gadgets?

“All of that stuff.”

Whew, at least it’s about “stuff,” I’d really hate to see a movie that wasn’t about “that stuff.”

“But it has heart. Its heart is what America, and what heroes and leaders around the world, strive to be.”

They strive to be heroic charming potatoes. In jet packs. With good branding. And stuff. AMERICA! Did I mention the Power of the Punch yet?

“I think that is what the brand needs.”

Brands don’t have needs, they only have eternal hunger.

(source: SlashFilm)

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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