Never one to turn down a paycheck, The Hollywood Reporter broke the story last night that Bruce Willis has entered talks with Paramount to play General Joe Colton, ‘the original G.I. Joe’ who in the 80′s comic book series formed the Strike Team.

Willis was first rumoured for the part in G.I. Joe 2 earlier this summer but the story has now been confirmed, with only the contract for the A-lister left to sign.

Wiki describe the character;

According to General Colton’s 1994 file card, he graduated with the highest honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1960. He was recruited for Special Forces, and later became a Green Beret. In 1963, he was appointed by then President John F. Kennedy to create and command an “ULTIMATE freedom fighting force.” It was at this time that he received the code name G.I. Joe.

So yeah it’s good casting. Willis can play the uptight military man just about as good as anyone if you think about his role in The Siege, you probably get the idea of what he might be going for here. He is one of the few names in Hollywood you could put in command of the “Ultimate freedom fighting force” and for it not to look daft.

Willis joins Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (as Roadblock), Ray Stevenson (Firefly), RZA (Blind Master) and Adrianne Palicki (Lady Jaye) for G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation (hopefully the subtitle refers to this film’s mentality against the first!), which is looking a little more bad-ass in the casting stakes than the original.

The few surviving returnee’s from the original besides Tatum’s Duke are; Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Byung Hun Lee (Storm Shadow) and Jonathan Pryce (U.S. President), with D.J. Cortuna and Elodie Yung are new additions.

Gone from the sequel is the original’s helmer Stephen Sommers, with Paramount bringing in the guy who made the female friendly Step Up movies and the Justin Bieber concert film Never Say Never, which given the films he made previously was a shock hiring and one we haven’t really fathomed out yet. But let’s be honest, he can’t do anything worse than the Saturday Morning cartoon brought to life that Sommers did with the original and that he can at least make this film watchable.

John Chu is still casting for a shoot later this month, based on a script by Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Paramount has set a release date of June 29th 2012 in place.

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This article was first posted on August 10, 2011