It’s not going to be easy to replace Stephen Sommers on “G.I. Joe 2,” or whatever they finally call the sequel.
Not because Sommers is some singular talent, but because “G.I. Joe” is one of those projects where tone is everything. More than story, more than set pieces, tone is important. The first film isn’t a particularly smart film or a great story, but what it got right was tone. There’s an energy to it that is so relentlessly happy, so silly, that it carries the film right past its implausibilities.
Now The LA Times is reporting that Sommers won’t be directing after all. The thing is, I’m excited that Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are writing the sequel. I liked their “Zombieland” script, and I thought their “Deadpool” script was a pretty balls-out take on the material. Having them attached means that I’m actually interested in this sequel.
What matters now is finding someone who can have fun with this. Someone who can do action with a light touch. Someone who can handle an ensemble.
One of my friends on Twitter floated the name Joe Carnahan today. I could get behind that. Thinking of the falling tank scene in “The A-Team” or most of the tone of “Smoking Aces,” that’s what I would want from another “G.I. Joe” movie.
I don’t take these films terribly serious, and I don’t know the animated show at all. What I think they could be at their best is big silly military gear pulp action, and that’s what the first film got right. The wrap-up for the bad guys in that first film is so wildly silly and enthusiastic that I, as a completely non-fan, applauded it. Those are bad guys I want to see again. I pray to god they’ve written Joseph Gordon-Levitt a role that lets him rock and roll and chew the edge of the frame. I’m there opening day if so.
“G.I. Joe: The Inevitable Sequel” will probably land in theaters sometime in 2012.