The Writers of sG.I.Joe Retaliation, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick sat down for a recent interview to discuss some of their reasoning behind their Script, and shed some light on why they did what they did. Check out the interview below, then join in the Discussion after the JUMP!
(Source: Huffington Post)
Here, they explain why they’d take on a risky G.I. Joe project after the commercial and critical success of “Zombieland” and reveal the behind-the-scenes discussions with Channing Tatum about the fate of his character, Duke.
After “Zombieland,” why would you get involved with this movie? It seems like kind of a risk.
Reese: It did, I mean, to some degree. I think probably the biggest reason we wanted to do it was the fact that, a couple reasons: One, from my childhood, I had a real lingering affection for G.I. Joe. It was my favorite line of toys as a kid. I read the comics. I had probably every single toy except the aircraft carrier, the USS Flagg. I was very spoiled, as Paul points out. So I had this enduring love for it as a kid, and then Paul himself has kids.
To be fair, the Flagg would fit in very few children’s rooms.
Reese: I know, I know. I think that was my parents’ point. They were like, “If it’s longer than your bed –” And I was like, “I intend to sleep on it, so it’s gonna work out.”
The director, Jon Chu, grew up with G.I. Joe as well, and it seems like this is the right team to be putting together a G.I. Joe movie. Why do you think they didn’t do that the first time?
Wernick: Well, you know, it’s funny. I think there were just a host of problems on that first one, just in terms of, I think, it was up against the writers’ strike. And there was just a scramble to get it made. You know, Hasbro was pushing, and there were issues with toys and so forth. Like, there was a roll-out campaign. There was a whole complex issue of movie making and such that outside factors, and assassins kind of just — you know, it’s not for us to judge the first one. There were elements of the first one that we thought were great, that gave us the great gift of launching off into the second one with the bad president, which we thought was a great launching point into “G.I. Joe 2.”
What characters did you guys really want to use that you couldn’t?
Reese: Well, the first on the list that we really struggled to let go is the Baroness. We had a bit of a glut of villains and we really wanted to introduce Firefly, because we wanted to introduce a character who just loves destruction and is a great foil for Roadblock. So once we introduced him, and we already had Storm Shadow and Cobra Commander and it just — we were worried about a glut of villains. So we had to let the Baroness go, and that was painful, because she’s a really wonderful character. But we would always, if given the chance, relish the opportunity to bring her back in a sequel, because we love her.
And Jon Chu was saying that there have been ideas thrown around of how to recreate her in a different way. [WARNING: A major spoiler is revealed below.]
Reese: Yeah, I mean, one of the things is that Duke [played by Channing Tatum] is dead, so we don’t really have to service that Duke/Baroness relationship that they established in the first movie. We can just let that go and that provides us with the freedom either to ignore what happened in the first movie, because it was two movies ago, or create something entirely new. I think people will probably embrace that, it being two movies previous. People are much easier to accept and be fast and loose with reboots and sequels now than they used to be.
I think most people know that Channing Tatum is only in the beginning of the movie. How did his contract work? Were you told he had to be written out?
Wernick: Well, when we first pitched the idea when we were auditioning for the job — in our first draft of the script, actually — Duke was the protagonist through the entire first draft. Ultimately, I think schedule and desire and the excitement to turn over a franchise to a new set of actors excited Channing and excited the studio. When we first pitched Channing the idea that he was going to die, he got really, really excited. It’s so rare that a big, huge huge star ever dies on screen, so the idea that he would have a death scene put a glint in his eye and a smile on his face. And then it really did give the Joes, we thought, a real motivation, a revenge plot. It’s like, “Let’s rally up and go after whoever did this.” So it really did provide us the perfect motivation going into the second movie.