Yes, the first G.I. Joe movie wasn't exactly a masterpiece. But the sequel has a script by the Zombieland team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and it's being directed by Legion of Extraordinary Dancers creator Jon M. Chu. So you know, we oughta give it the benefit of the doubt.
In any case, the film is cranking up to production later this month — see the above photo which Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tweeted of himself on the set, preparing to play Roadblock. And there are some casting calls that just came out, which give a few more hints about just where the sequel is going to go. Spoilers ahead...
So yeah, it looks like the sequel is going to be pretty strongly connected with the original film, even though half the original cast won't be back. Channing Tatum is back as Duke, and Ray Park is back as Snake Eyes. Also back: Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow. Johnson is already joining the cast, and there are rumors Bruce Willis will play the original G.I. Joe, General Joe Colton. But what other new characters will be in the film?
Obviously, the casting calls may not reflect what's in the final script, and a lot of stuff can change during filming.
Update: We heard from a source at Paramount, who told us that these casting pages aren't really an accurate reflection of what's in the movie's actual script.
All that we can actually confirm is the basic character outlines. The movie is casting several new Joes, including Walker (the wisecracking character), Brock (the tough guy from the hood), Robyn (the female weapons expert) and Mouse, the 18-year-old newbie who's eager to prove himself. Also, it's appears to be true that there will be some flashback scenes involving the young Storm Shadow, and that Blind Master (played by RZA) will be involved in those scenes.
And the movie is definitely casting a lot of world leaders and foreign technical experts, who are taking part in some kind of summit or meeting at which the Joes are active. (And it seems likely that since the first movie ended with Zartan impersonating the U.S. President, that storyline will still play a role of some kind in the new movie.) Finally, the film is looking for Lecter, a villain who's a creator of high-tech weapons for the bad guys, who helps Zartan with his bid for power.
Anyway, it sounds like the new film may take a slightly more down-to-earth tack than the over-the-top first installment, and there may be a fair bit more geopolitics, judging from the amount of world leaders and foreign diplomats being cast. We'll find out more on June 29, 2012 when this bad boy hits theaters.
Top image from Twitter, via Latino Review