By Ryan Parsons | Image property of respected holders, Variety.
If my memory serves me well -- I might remind you it normally doesn't -- the first possible script for G.I. Joe surfaced way back in January... of 2006! Yes, the project has been on the fences for some time, but now it looks like Paramount is making some real progress and scheduling their 2009 summer tentpoles.
Sommers Bootcamps for G.I. Joe
Paramount Pictures has picked up Stephen Sommers to direct a live-action version of G.I. Joe, a franchise that was kicked off by Hasbro's line of action figures.
The studio is looking to hire a writer immediately, and has already set a February production start date in order to get the film in theaters by summer 2009. Whoa, what's the rush?
Not much really, but Sommers is being credited for Paramount's accelerated production schedule thanks to a version of the story he pitched to Paramount chairman-CEO Brad Grey and production prexy Brad Weston; he was hired immediately after.
G.I. Joe owes its added attention to something else as well: Transformers. Another film based off a Hasbro toy line, Transformers has already grossed $667 million worldwide.
The franchise servers up about 30 core characters, good and evil, that can be used across more than a single film.
While some remember the character from its gung-ho fighting man '60s incarnation, he's evolved. G.I. Joe is now a Brussels-based outfit that stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, an international co-ed force of operatives who use hi-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil organization headed by a double-crossing Scottish arms dealer.
"Our vision (for "The Mummy") was clear the time the first trailer played during the Super Bowl, and by the time this one plays a Super Bowl, you'll see the coolest characters and visuals you can imagine, and beyond-state-of-the-art equipment," Sommers said. "I wouldn't have jumped into this just because of the Hasbro-Transformers tie. Remember, 'Pirates of the Caribbean was a big hit, but 'Haunted Mansion' not so much."
Note to self: be sure to catch the Super Bowl in 2009. Damn, I'm never going to remember that!