Film News

"G.I. Joe" accepts movie assignment

Stephen Sommers arrives for the world premiere of the film "Van Helsing" in Universal City, California May 3, 2004. Paramount Pictures finally has mobilized "G.I. Joe," hiring Sommers to shoot a live-action film based on the popular Hasbro military action figures. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Call it “G.I. Go.” Paramount Pictures finally has mobilized “G.I. Joe,” hiring the director of the “Mummy” movies to shoot a live-action film based on the popular Hasbro military action figures.

“G.I. Joe” had long been in development at Paramount, though it gained traction thanks in part to “Transformers,” the hit summer movie based on another Hasbro toy line.

While G.I. Joe toys have been around for decades, the movie will be based on the toy line launched in the 1980s, which also was tied to a Saturday morning cartoon and comic book series.

Director Stephen Sommers’ take was inspired by a trip to Hasbro’s headquarters in Rhode Island, where he learned in depth about the world of G.I. Joe. Sommers then met with Paramount brass, who sparked to his ideas. The studio is eyeing a summer 2009 release.

The film will see soldiers from all branches of the military fighting a terrorist group called Cobra, led by the Cobra Commander and featuring such villains as the Baroness, metal-faced arms dealer Destro, master of disguise Zartan and biker gang Dreadnoks.

On the good guys’ side were heroes such as the mute ninja Snake Eyes and the fetching heroine Scarlett, who were led by a Joe named Duke.

The full name of the ‘80s toy line was G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, but in a reflection of the global nature of tentpoles and current geopolitical climate, the Yankee nature of the strike force is being dropped, with the team now having an international flavor.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter