Paramount Pictures is reportedly rebooting the G.I. Joe franchise. After the first film was released in 2009 and didn’t make the kind of splash the studio expected, bringing in $307 million worldwide, the studio retooled their approach for the sequel. They brought in Dwayne Johnson, a very bankable action star, and lowered the budget slightly.
That resulted in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which performed a little better at the box office, and thus G.I. Joe 3 has been in development ever since. Unfortunately for Paramount, Johnson’s schedule is absurdly busy and he hasn’t been able to get any time to shoot the third film. The studio has now decided to go in a different direction.
THR reports that Paramount is forging ahead without Johnson and is instead rebooting the franchise, with a Snake Eyes movie now in development. The film will revolve around the popular G.I. Joe character who is basically a deadly ninja, which surely screams marketability and merchandising to producers.
The studio has set Evan Spiliotopoulos (Beauty And The Beast, Bright 2) to pen the script, which could be the toughest task of his career, as in G.I. Joe Lore, Snake Eyes never speaks. But that might be something they’ve decided to totally ignore, or maybe Spiliotopoulos has a clever take on the character. We will see.
Ray Park – most famous for playing Darth Maul – portrayed the character in the two previous G.I. Joe films, but in a supporting role. It’s very likely that the studio will aim to find a name actor to fill out the role for this starring role.
Paramount has been working with Hasbro to figure out a way to revive this lucrative property, and it’s possible this is a beginning of another cinematic universe, as earlier this year the studio brought F. Gary Gray (The Fate Of The Furious) on board to helm a M.A.S.K. movie, based on the Hasbro toy.
The Snake Eyes character has all the makings of a bit of a modern superhero, so this is probably a smart move by Paramount, though their larger vision to create a cinematic universe might be ill-fated, as it seems that with the failures of the DCU and the Dark Universe, maybe the MCU model everyone has been trying to imitate is the exception, rather than the rule.
Paramount has had a lot of these projects, and similar ones, in the works for a while, and many of them have simply fallen by the wayside, so we’ll wait and see if Snake Eyes actually gets off the ground. But the character has some cinematic potential.