It seems that the sequel to last year's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra can expect the return of its predecessor's director. After his involvement was generally doubted for a time, TheWrap is reporting that Stephen Sommers will indeed return to direct the follow-up to the 2009 film. While the film is still in developmental stages, it is already likely a lock for Rise of Cobra star Channing Tatum to reprise his role as
Capt. Duke Hauser Duke. (Sorry, I couldn't do it.) However, don't expect the film to simply be the same old gang getting back together. As some may recall from earlier this year, a shake-up in the writing team has brought the sribes of Zombieland (and the upcoming Deadpool) Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to hopefully tighten up the storyline (borrowing some vocabulary from Westwood College Online.)
Sommers, known from blockbusters such as Deep Rising, Van Helsing, and The Mummy films, brought big-budget Hollywood experience to the table, resulting in a flashy, CGI-stylized interpretation of Hasbro Toys' 1980's interpretation of the classic G.I. Joe brand. The results, however, brought a mixed bag of criticism due to its more than loose adherence to the source material and a derivative style-over-substance plot. That, hopefully, will be an issue that the team of Reese and Wernick can remedy with their script. As they explained back in February:
“We’re excited,” explained Wernick. “Rhett was such a huge ‘G.I. Joe’ fan growing up, as was I." Adding: “We can say that we will be faithful to the first film,” Reese explained of their plans for the sequel. “We will not be ignoring events from the first in the second.”
While the team will have to walk a line between ensuring that they produce a script that's a proper sequel to the 2009 film, it was also abundantly clear from comments like the one above, that they were not complete laymen to the canon of the A Real American Hero storyline on which it was based. What that will hopefully mean, is that director Stephen Sommers will have a script in his hand which will at least be grounded in a version of the "Joes vs. Cobra" dynamic that's close in spirit to the one that captured the imagination of millions back in the day. What he'll do with it, is another question.
We were always getting this sequel, whether we liked it or not. So, what do you think about Stephen Sommers returning for G.I. Joe 2? Can a writing shake-up fix things?