Jon M Chu, the director of the first Step Up dance movies and the Justin Bieber film currently in theaters, has been hired to direct Paramount’s GI Joe 2. On the face of it, the hiring certainly seems a bit out of the blue. I would imagine, though, that when he made his pitch to the studio for the job, he took a page from John Woo’s playbook and drew a parrallel between action and dance sequences. That still doesn’t address whether the follow up will have a better script.
Deadline broke the story of Chu’s hiring, but there also was another interesting nugget buried in their report. It appears that Paramount is now trying to see which actors they can lure back for the sequel, starting with lead Channing Tatum. I have to say that I am surprised by this, as it seems to imply that none of the cast was signed with sequel options when hired for the original film. Reportedly Sienna Miller will not be back as the Baroness, so that part will have to be recast. Also, Joseph Gordon Levitt has been fielding a lot of offers that are probably more appealing than GI Joe 2. I would guess that since it would be hard to exclude either character from the new film, those two roles will be recast.
But the even bigger surprise is that Paramount is insisting on moving ahead on a GI Joe sequel. While the first film did alright business, it was roasted by critics and audiences alike. I’m surprised to think that the studio believes that there is enough good will towards the idea of a sequel that would move forward.