While Stephen Sommers’ G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra left a lot of moviegoers cold with its release back in 2009, if the trailer for director Jon M. Chu’s follow-up, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, is anything to go by, it looks as if fans could be shouting ‘Yo Joe!’ from the rooftops when the sequel arrives in cinemas this June. With a resume that includes Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Chu may not have seemed the most obvious choice to tackle directing duties on the second installment, but it’s quickly becoming clear that he has a much better understanding of the material than his predecessor, and a recent interview with MovieFone just serves to confirm that.
In addition to discussing the differences between the latest movie and The Rise of Cobra - along with the challenges posed in following Sommers’ effort – Chu also touches upon the inclusion of new characters such as Firefly (Ray Stevenson) and the possibility of seeing Destro again. However, most interesting are his comments about everyone’s favourite bad guy, Cobra Commander; as we know, Joseph Gordon-Levitt declined to return in favour of linking up with his Inception director Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises, and while we’ve seen from the trailer that CC will be back, it seems we’ll not only have a new actor under the mask, but also an entirely new character:
“No [it’s not the same character that Joseph Gordon-Levitt played], but we figured out a way that’s pretty nice. And you get the Cobra Commander that you’ve always wanted. Or, to me, what I always wanted: a bad-ass villain. He’s one of the most iconic villains ever. I’m even following him on Twitter – he’s so funny.” Intriguing to say the least, but as long as it doesn’t turn out to be Channing Tatum I guess I can live with it…
Along with Tatum and Ray Stevenson, G.I. Joe: Retaliation stars Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, Ray Park as Snake Eyes, Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow, D.J. Cotrona as Flint, RZA as Blind Master, Elodie Yung as Jinx, Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye, Stephen Martines as Cross-Country, Eddie Hargitay as Tunnel Rat, Joseph Mazzello as Mouse, Jonathan Pryce as the President, Arnold Vosloo as Zartan and Bruce Willis as General Joseph Colton.
The film is set for release in the UK on June 22nd and arrives in North American cinemas on June 29th.