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Old 02-13-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
Bug-Eyed Earl
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Default New Jon Chu interview

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...30.html?ref=tw

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In 2009, "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" was financially successful enough to gross over $300 million worldwide. What "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" was even more successful at, however, was alienating fans (which includes this reporter) of the G.I. Joe series. Though fun (at times), that movie does not resemble G.I. Joe. At all. Director Jon Chu wants you to know that "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" -- the sequel to "Rise of Cobra" starring Bruce Willis and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson -- is nothing like its predecessor.

On Monday, at the American International Toy Fair, I had the chance to speak with Chu, who -- as opposed to the first film's director, Stephen Sommers -- considers himself a G.I. Joe fan. I consider myself a G.I. Joe fan, too. Here's how that (slightly nerdy) conversation -- involving the new Cobra Commander, the possible return of Destro, and how a famous G.I. Joe comic book story, "Silent Interlude," fits in with the new film -- all went down.

I love that your favorite characters are Firefly and Grunt. I feel Grunt is a very "circa-1982" character.

[Laughs] I'm not sure that he's my favorite character, but I do love Grunt. To me it was in the cartoons and things like that, he would just appear randomly.

The comic book did a whole issue devoted to him leaving G.I. Joe.

Yes! That's right. But Firefly, come on; how can you deny Firefly?

He does get short changed. I think because the Firefly and the Storm Shadow action figures were originally released at the same time. People love Storm Shadow. But I did hear that Firefly being in this movie was your doing...
Yep. One of my favorite characters and I had to have him in this movie. We do a different take on Firefly -- no doubt -- so he's not exactly the "Firefly" Firefly that we know. But he's a force to be reckoned with. He's a bad-ass and he still kicks some serious ass.

You're a G.I. Joe fan. In a perfect world, would you rather have just rebooted this franchise from scratch considering the first movie is nothing like G.I. Joe?
Yeah, I mean, for any filmmaker you want to start with nothing.

But Stephen Sommers didn't know anything about G.I. Joe and you do know a lot. That has to be a difficult to step into.

It's hard, but I think everybody felt like we wanted to do a sort of re-attitude toward the movie. And that's part of the tradition of G.I. Joe, that it reinvents itself every several years. So it's sort of inline with what had been done, you know, whether it was in the cartoon or if they changed the theme song to another theme song. To me, all of those different transitions are what makes G.I. Joe so great.

What was the biggest hurdle that was established in the first film that you had to work around?

Oh, we had many times that we were like, "Wait, what year did that movie take place? God dang it." And we're still discussing some things. But, it's part of the challenge.

And Cobra Commander had to be an issue.

Yes, Cobra Commander was an issue. But I know we couldn't lose Cobra Commander.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not in this movie. Under the mask, is this the same character that Levitt played?

No. [Smiling] 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.

Was that one of your first commands as director? "Cobra Commander has to look like Cobra Commander."
Yeah, definitely, no doubt. That and no lips on Snake Eyes. And no laser guns. And as much real, physical stunts as we can. I don't want to shoot on a green screen. Of course we had to do some green screen, but, for the most part, we got to shoot a lot of practical stunts.

Will this more resemble the Larry Hama comic book or the animated series?

You know, I always see the Joe kingdom as three different eras. The original twelve-inch Joe --

Which Bruce Willis represents...
Yes. And then the Larry Hama comic book. And then the cartoon. The last movie I see as more like the cartoon version. I think we're more like the comic book.

Did you read the comic at all?
Yes. I wouldn't say that I'm an aficionado on all of it. But, yes, for sure.

It's an interesting story: how Cobra runs an entire town called Springfield.
And I love all of the Cobra "cover companies," things like that. We do a couple of things like that in the movie to help show that Cobra's organization is growing.

And we may see Destro?

[Smiling] You may see a little glimpse of Destro. We'll have to see. Speaking of the comic book, I love "Silent Interlude." It's one of my favorite. Obviously that changed everything for Joe. We do a little homage in our movie to "Silent Interlude." I'm very excited for the fans to see what we do with that.

The comic used bullets, the cartoon used lasers. I do feel that just hearing that the lasers are gone, it's already more like the comic.

Yeah, and just being able to see people as real human beings. Flawed human beings that get hurt and do get scratched up. And every time they make a kill they scratch little thing on there -- and you see that throughout the movie.

It seemed to work out that there were enough popular characters left to start over with that weren't used in the first movie: Flint, Roadblock, Lady Jaye...
I thought it worked better than I thought it would. I thought I'd come across like, "Well, we need Scarlett back for this thing." Or, "We need Baroness." It's really hard to make a Joe movie without Scarlett and Baroness, but we figured out a way to get through this and we we figured out other ways.

For people like me. For people who were huge fans of G.I. Joe growing up, that went to see the first movie and thought, "That wasn't G.I. Joe. Never again." What do you say to them?

I'll say, just give us another shot. That's what we tried to do with out trailer and all of the material that we're going to release is, "This is not the last movie" It's a different attitude." And just bringing Bruce Willis and Dwayne together, in itself, hopefully, indicates a change of tone and in the movie. When you have Bruce and his sense of humor, but with his real kick-ass presence. And with The Rock, he's the ultimate action hero. Bringing those two together I would hope shows that we're serious about it. Not a thing where we're just trying to get a franchise going up again.
I know TheVileOne said somewhere that he hoped they would completely ignore the "Rex" character if not outright write him out. I had a feeling Duke will die and as the last link to Rex they could just ignore that plot point after that, so I am pretty pleased with that interview.

So are we starting to come around on Chu now? I always had a feeling he might surprise us; I definitely didn't think he was going to bring any hip-hop/dance movie sensibilities to Joe just because of his past output- Paramount and Hasbro were going to have him on a tight leash. I didn't have any other expectations, however.

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Old 02-14-2012, 02:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

I have a theory that there is a reason that Jon mentioned Baroness and Scarlett specifically. I think while most of the characters will be killed off (off screen) Baroness and Scarlett are jusy MIA. but alive.

Or, with Storm Shadow back despite being dead in the first movie, his revival might play a role in bringing back certain dead characters.

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Old 02-14-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

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I have a theory that there is a reason that Jon mentioned Baroness and Scarlett specifically. I think while most of the characters will be killed off (off screen) Baroness and Scarlett are jusy MIA. but alive.

Or, with Storm Shadow back despite being dead in the first movie, his revival might play a role in bringing back certain dead characters.
Quick question, how often do you guys think toys are made of heroes who actually die in their movies?

Just saying that if I was a kid; Duke was my favorite and I had a toy of him from the upcoming film...I'd be heartbroken to see die in this film

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Old 02-14-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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Hopefully Scarlet and Baroness are still alive. I want them fixed, not dead.

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Old 02-14-2012, 06:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

Great interview! John Chu being a huge G.I. Joe fan really gives me hope that this will be a great film.

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Old 02-14-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

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Originally Posted by Bug-Eyed Earl View Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...30.html?ref=tw

I know TheVileOne said somewhere that he hoped they would completely ignore the "Rex" character if not outright write him out. I had a feeling Duke will die and as the last link to Rex they could just ignore that plot point after that, so I am pretty pleased with that interview.

So are we starting to come around on Chu now? I always had a feeling he might surprise us; I definitely didn't think he was going to bring any hip-hop/dance movie sensibilities to Joe just because of his past output- Paramount and Hasbro were going to have him on a tight leash. I didn't have any other expectations, however.
Yup. Now here is where I will pat myself on the back and call myself prophetic since I pretty much predicted this almost two weeks ago:

http://forums.superherohype.com/show...9&postcount=20

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There is literally no chance in hell it's JGL.

Now honestly what would be perfect to me? I'd be very happy if at no point in the movie, CC is ever unmasked, there is no reference of who he is or might be, or anything related to Rex. I'd be fine never knowing what actor played him or what is CC's identity because I like it that way. I'd love it if they said that schmuck in the first movie was a wannabe and nothing more and this is the real McCoy who was the one that actually manipulated Destro, Rex, and everyone else. And I would also want him to be dispatched in a way where like we desperately want to know who he was but we never find out.

It worked for the Joker and it works for Cobra Commander.
Also at the Toy Fair interview with Chu, Chu confirmed who the actor underneath the actor is doing the physical movements. Sounded like the name was "Lou Gracie?" So basically the implication is that there are TWO actors playing CC this time. One for the physical performance ala Darth Vader and I guess another for the voice and I imagine who ever the new identity of CC is.

Now honestly to the interview Earl linked, I liked a lot of what Chu said. At the same time, I'm still cautious about this one since I don't want to be let down again and I still don't trust Chu fully yet. I mean he made some good comments but he still needs to walk the walk you know.

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Old 02-15-2012, 08:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

Although I have to wonder- we know a prison break is part of the plot- that hints at Rex returning somehow.

Filmmakers rarely lie in interviews when it behooves them to. Oftentimes they try to be cagey about a loaded question like this but that cageyness gives it away. I always come away thinking: "Just lie, dude. A little fib won't hurt anyone." It's like with Michael Bay being asked if Megatron is in TF2 and he said no. We know how that turned out, but any other answer might as well have been "yes." That was probably the sensible thing to do if he wasn't trying to give anything away, and the Internet has a short memory.

So I hope that statement about CC not being the same character isn't simply referring to how he was written.

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Old 02-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

Just say Rex was executed for his crimes.

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:45 PM   #9
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I wish someone would sak Chu about the real life GI Joe...SGT. Slaughter!!

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #10
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Just say Rex was executed for his crimes.
Or play off Rex as being Mindbender the whole time (like he had a fake flashback in the first movie).

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Old 02-22-2012, 06:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

the reporter was too glaringly judgmental, but interesting to see what Chu chose to include in the new film..

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

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Just say Rex was executed for his crimes.
With his biggest crime being that he was in the 1st movie.

Thought that was an interesting interview. Most things we've seen about this movie suggest that it's rectifying the mistakes of the past and getting back on track to where it should already be if it werent for Sommers.

Here's hoping.

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Old 02-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #13
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The problem with Rex is te problem with most modern Summer movies: the need to explain everything to the audience.

Nolan did it well with Batman and Hollywood misinterpret what he was doing and made it status quo even when it may not be suited for certain projects.

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Old 02-23-2012, 07:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: New Jon Chu interview

G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra was about the Joe's trying to take down the terrorist organization of Cobra, the reporter was right that is not G.I. Joe, not even close.

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Old 02-25-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra was about the Joe's trying to take down the terrorist organization of Cobra, the reporter was right that is not G.I. Joe, not even close.
Cobra wasn't even in the first movie at all really.

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The problem with Rex is te problem with most modern Summer movies: the need to explain everything to the audience.

Nolan did it well with Batman and Hollywood misinterpret what he was doing and made it status quo even when it may not be suited for certain projects.
Yeah because of Batman Begins, everyone needs to have an origin and backstory now. Because of the Spider-Man movies, all the villains need to have personal connections with the heroes.

But look at the Joker. The Joker had no backstory. He had no origin. He just comes into the story as he is and that's it.

Cobra Commander should basically be the same thing. I really would prefer if Cobra Commander had absolutely no identity at all.

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Old 02-26-2012, 12:23 AM   #16
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Agreed. No origin for Cobra Commander would be great. It'd certainly be better than what we got, which was just a terrible origin. I hated his being the brother of Baroness and being tied to Duke. They really need to come up with some reasonable explanation to fix Cobra Commander and get Baroness on the side of Cobra. Maybe Rex ISN'T Cobra Commander but a lackey who was mind controlled to believe he was Cobra Commander, while Baroness was never mind controlled and that was all a ploy to get her into the Joe's as a double agent? It'd be pretty interesting if, instead of Rex using his sister, his sister instead used him as a tool to get in the good graces of the real Cobra Commander.

A wee bit complicated, yeah, but that first movie was horrendously complex in how it screwed over as many characters as possible. Short of recasting the characters and just outright ignoring their origins in the first movie, the only solution to clear up that mess is going to have to be somewhat complex.

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