Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Updates G.I. Joe 2 and the RED Sequel
06.30.11 by Ryan
While attending the premiere of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura was asked about two other sequels he is working on — G.I. Joe 2 and a sequel to last year's $186 million worldwide-grossing, action-comedy RED.
Di Bonaventura told MTV that they've got a good script for the sequel, written by RED screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber, leaving them to assemble the ensemble cast, which included Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich.
We're trying to put it together. We just got a script and it's really good. We're all just now discussing how to put it all back together again. You know, it's so much fun to work with that much talent. It's amazing how much people love that movie. It's caught us all off guard a little bit. We're all very proud of it, but it's over the top how much people love it. We want to go back and play with those characters, because it was so much fun to do it.
RED Followed Willis and company as a group of retired CIA agents who get back together when Willis is targeted for assassination. While having a cast filled with Academy Award–winners and nominees is clearly one that di Bonaventura wants to bring back. He also revealed that some new cast members is necessary.
I think the audience would be disappointed if we didn't bring back the crew, but we've got to freshen the crew so we'll bring in one or two characters that'll play a really big part — maybe three, but probably one or two. You know, Marvin (Malkovich) and Frank (Willis) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) and Victoria (Mirren), you want to spend more time with those guys, and sometimes there's a tendency to want to do too much of a good thing so you don't really service anything, so we're really trying to stay focused on our core crew with one or two new additions.
RED was based on the comic book created by writer Warren Ellis and artist Cully Hamner, but the series' three issues inspired only a portion of the original movie, so where a sequel goes is up to di Bonaventura, the Hoeber brothers, and, should he return to direct, Robert Schwentke, who is currently working on the comic book adaptation of R.I.P.D..
As for G.I. Joe 2 (working title), the sequel to 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, production is much closer, with a script from Zombieland screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and Jon Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) directing. With only Channing Tatum (Duke), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), and Lee Byung-hun (Storm Shadow) returning from Rise of the Cobra, di Bonaventura said that "ninja fans are going to love it."
There's a tremendous amount of it. What's interesting is, we both have that going on in the Snake Eyes story, but we've found a way to bring that [ninja] element into the Joes' story. I think anybody who's a fan of dark, in the middle of the night [action with] a dangerous foe arriving, this is a movie for you.
The new cast members announced so far seem to be going in a "ninja"-like direction with French actress Elodie Yung (District 13: Ultimatum) cast as L.A.-born ninja Jinx and rapper-turned-actor RZA set to play Blind Master, the one who trained Jinx. Also joining the cast are D.J. Cotrona as the beret-wearing Flint and
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as heavy machine gunner and aspiring chef Roadblock. Di Bonaventura said that Johnson's part is no cameo and will be a "a full-on lead role."
In a way, he and Snake-Eyes, their stories are really dynamic and very important. Rock is such a great character to have in G.I. Joe. It's an amazing combination. We would not be very good if we didn't fully utilize him, so he's going to have a lot of things to do. It is an ensemble movie, so you have other characters certainly playing it out.
G.I. Joe 2 is currently scheduled to open on August 10, 2012, while RED 2 does not yet have a release date.