Understandably after the negative fan reaction and less than overwhelming box office return for the 2009 summer actioner G.I. Joe - Paramount have already replaced director Stephen Sommers with the much cheaper John Chu (Step Up sequels) and now comes word that they've cut their budget deficit by reducing the bloated paychecks of the original. Sienna Miller, probably on the higher pay-scale of the original cast had already been cut from the sequel, Dennis Quaid is clearly going to be too expensive and now Rachel Nichols, the actress who had a substantial part as Shana O'Hara in the first movie has mentioned on Twitter (via /film), perhaps somewhat bitterly, that she won't be invited back to the dance;
GI JOE 2 News Flash: The only characters to return in the JON CHU directed sequel will be SNAKE EYES, STORM SHADOW, and DUKE
Having done several interviews in the past year hoping she would return, Nichols is clearly gutted to be cut from the sequel, following-up on twitter;
Thank you. After the GI JOE news I had Heavy Boots, but Im smiling now!
Can't help but feel sorry for Nichols who I imagine wasn't on the higher pay-scale and was genuinely ok in the original compared to some of her co-stars. Snake Eyes (Ray Park), Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun - though didn't the character die?) and Duke (Channing Tatum) will be the returning members, seemingly, leaving Marlon Wayans and many others out of a job this summer. Also, I would expect the major shining light of the original, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cobra Commander, to be out of reach for Paramount, especially as he prepares for a role in The Dark Knight Rises. Of course as the character can be behind a mask for the whole duration of the movie, it's easy to replace Levitt with somebody much cheaper - which I suspect is what they will do with several of the characters, or just write them out completely. G.I. Joe was was made for around $175 million, but grossed just $300 million worldwide, a huge chunk of which went to exhibitors. The sequel will likely have a budget much closer to $100 million mark. Chu will helm the currently untitled G.I. Joe 2 this fall, from a script by Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.