Stephen Sommers Won't Direct GI JOE 2, Sadly The Sequel Is Still Coming...

It's not yet clear if Stephen Sommers walked or was pushed off the G.I. Joe sequel by Paramount but honestly, he shouldn't have been brought back in the first place after the disastrous job he made of the original and the supposedly contentious shoot that literally had the studio shitting themselves about the final cut he turned in just weeks before the summer 09 release. Of course, they had a right to be worried. G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra was a ludicrously awful film, panned by almost everyone, instantly forgotten by the fanboys who had been heavily anticipating it's release for months but somehow it did make $300 million worldwide on a $200+million budget (when you include marketing), just about enough to greenlight a sequel. The L.A. Times says the studio have begun speaking with at least two other filmmakers about helming G.I. Joe 2, which presumably will go in front of camera's sometime this year. No names were mentioned but unless Paramount are happy to semi-reboot the thing (i.e. as little references to the original as possible like Fox's Wolverine 2 attracting Darren Aronofsky) then don't expect anything above a C-level helmer being hired. Rob Cohen, who jumped on board The Mummy franchise after Sommers exited, springs to mind. Though would anyone shed any tears if G.I. Joe 2 was cancelled tomorrow. Really? Isn't life too short for this one? I'm certain the some of the bigger names of the cast (Joseph Gordon-Levitt for example) who are contractually obliged to return wouldn't care to drop that work from their schedules. And neither will Zombieland writers Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick who were hired to write this sequel last year and have much more interesting pdf's saved on their 'Final Draft' (such as the Zombieland sequel and Deadpool spin-off). Paramount could certainly do a lot more with $150-200 million.... Jonathan Nolan's original sci-fi script Interstellar for one which they are co-financing alongside Amblin Entertainment but don't want to pull the trigger on. The problem is Steven Spielberg wants to direct it but not enough to actually say "Yes, this is my next film" over the dozens of other films he has on his schedule.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.