The rumor mill said he was in, then out, but in reality — as reported by Variety and IESB yesterday — Stephen Sommers was Paramount’s man for the G.I. Joe movie all along.
Well, maybe not all along. According to the Variety report, Sommers was really only hired Wednesday night, after pitching his idea to Paramount executives — but the folks around the conference table apparently really loved that idea, because, as the article notes, “he was hired in the room.” What is Sommers’ idea, you ask? Variety will tell you:
While some remember the character from its gung-ho fighting man ’60s incarnation, he’s evolved. G.I. Joe is now a Brussels-based outfit that stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, an international co-ed force of operatives who use hi-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil organization headed by a double-crossing Scottish arms dealer. The property is closer in tone to “X-Men” and James Bond than a war film.
Okay, so the phrase “double-crossing Scottish arms dealer” makes us giggle for some reason; still, this sounds a whole lot better than all that “Action Man” nonsense from last week — and compared to the Monopoly and Battleship movies Hasbro’s got in the pipeline, it’s Best Picture material.
Meanwhile, over at IESB (where, it’s worth noting, the news of Sommers’ involvement first broke), there’s a post about who’s writing all this. According to IESB‘s sources, Paramount has hired Stuart Beattie to write a new draft of the G.I. Joe script. Beattie — whose previous credits include Collateral and 30 Days of Night — will be starting from scratch, and is expected to have his screenplay on the table in six to eight weeks.
So there you have it — now you know for sure who will be directing G.I. Joe. And knowing is half the battle!