Deadline reports Paramount is heading into production on a second “G.I. Joe” picture by by bringing on the cheapest of the three previously-rumored directors in Jon M. Chu. Chu is coming off the box office success of the concert film “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” and the last two “Step Up” entries, so he’ll be graduating from on-screen hoofin’ to CGI-heavy action adventure. Good luck?
As previously reported, Chu was amongst three finalists, the other two being experienced action helmer F. Gary Gray and B-pic craftsman Jaume Collet-Serra. Collet-Serra (“Unknown“) was bringing the current number one movie in America to the negotiating table, and Gray is an old hand at low-rent forgettable action, so it makes sense both would price themselves out of a sequel that will probably run Paramount lower than the last film’s reported $175 million production budget. The younger Chu was previously tabbed for big budget musical versions of “Bye Bye Birdie” and “The Great Gatsby” right out of USC, so he’s been on studio wishlists for awhile now.
“G.I. Joe 2” is expected to begin production in the fall under the aegis of producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura , with Channing Tatum reportedly being pursued to return as the heroic Duke. No word on whether Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick‘s (“Zombieland“) script will be a straight sequel to “The Rise Of Cobra” or if they plan on rebooting elements that didn’t necessarily thrill audiences, as the $302 million worldwide take was a bit below expectations. We do hope the sequel follows through on the promise of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the hissing Cobra Commander and the first film’s cliffhanger ending, which we recall being pretty ballsy for such a silly movie.