CON: G.I. JOE
With the amount of Cobra operatives waiting in line for this panel I thought the convention center was under attack. Luckily, everybody took their seats and safely packed their plastic guns under their chairs being sure not to bend their role playing cards or crinkle any animè posters.
The action kicked off with a one minute clip from G.I. JOE: RESOLUTE, a new online animated series from Hasbro. Duke and Roadblock get pinned down by Cobra and start calling for back-up while Snake Eyes starts going to work in the jungle. There are quite a few decent death scenes minus the blood. After Snake Eyes finishes with the troops outside Duke and Roadblock peek their heads out to witness the damage. Roadblock says "A ninja? I didn't know we had a ninja." and the screen breaks to their old school favorite saying - "Now you know." The entire scene was sucked up by the faithfuls in the audience and heavily applauded when it was over. Other than the web, Hasbro is hoping for some TV time and a DVD for the future of the series. On to the movie.
Producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura takes over the mic and introduces writer, Stuart Beattie, executive producer Brian Goldner, and mastermind Larry Hama. A lot of the discussion was focused on how the creators were able to fit so many characters into one storyline. Beattie says it was difficult not being able to focus individually on such complex characters but is satisfied with what they've done. The three major relationships in the film will be Duke/Baroness (Channing Tatum/Sienna Miller), Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow (Ray Park/Byung-hun Lee), and Ripcord/Scarlett (Marlon Wayans/Rachel Nichols) with the latter providing most of the film's humour.
A slideshow showed us a bunch of shit we've already seen, the character stills, a couple posters, and some shots of the action from the film. These included at least three of a very bad-ass looking Snake Eyes and the de-robed Storm Shadow. Both did all of their own stunts. A few glimpses of the vehicles were seen but the production staff was sure not to let us know what kind of transportation we'll be seeing in the film. Secrets. Here's what else...
- In the tradition of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, there are only four major action sequences in the movie. We were assured that they're huge and won't disappoint.
- Initial project plans went to paper in 2003.
- The producers wanted Snake Eyes to say one word toward the end of the film. Larry Hama put an end to that real fast.
- Overall, the film is being treated as a Cobra Commander (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) origin story.
- Dennis Quaid, who plays General Hawk, was convinced to do the film by his son. The money was pretty slim so the film makers gave mad props to the kid.
- Paramount actually put up more money for this film than they did for TRANSFORMERS.
- A lot of characters were left out in hopes of adding them to the sequel(s). This includes fan favorite Roadblock who was passed up for the other big black dude, Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).
- When the producers were questioned about why this American based Military force had so much international flavor they simply said they wanted the best actors and then bullshit a bit about how terrorist threats pull the world together.
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