EXCLUSIVE: Jon M. Chu Wants to Bring the Punch Back to 'G.I. Joe 2'

The director talks about the prospects of directing a sequel to what he calls an American institution.
Jon M. Chu talks about the prospects of directing a sequel to what he calls an American institution
Jon M. Chu talks about the prospects of directing a sequel to what he calls an American institution
In January, it was announced that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra director Stephen Sommers was not returning to helm the inevitable Untitled G.I. Joe Sequel. Soon after, we learned that Jaume Collet-Serra, F. Gary Gray, and Jon M. Chu were all in contention to possibly direct this follow-up to 2009's big screen adaptation of the popular Hasbro toy and cartoon franchise.

We were able to get Jon M. Chu, one of the top contenders for the job, on the phone this morning. After discussing his upcoming release of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Director's Fan Cut, which hits theaters this Friday, we managed to get Jon M. Chu to give us some insight into what is actually gong on with G.I. Joe 2. He very much wants to direct the sequel, and hopes to bring both the heart and the punch back to this franchise.

Here is our conversation.

With your background in dance and choreography, what kind of fight scenes can we expect to see between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe 2?

Jon M. Chu: (Laughs) I am up for a lot of projects right now. But if I got Joe, I would feel extremely blessed and very happy. That would be really awesome. But, you know? It is a far-fetched dream right now. For me? I grew up with Joe. I loved Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Joe. I think we've been waiting for the Joe movie that we've always wanted, but have never gotten. I think there is an opportunity to do that. For me, with dance and choreography, it's about a love of movement. I am not a dancer myself. I like to dance. But I am not a dancer. I think movement tells the story. Whether it is John Wayne standing on the porch, or leaning on something, and then he puts his hands in his pockets. Movement can communicate so much. I feel like using movement in a story, especially in terms of action, you can do a lot with that. If I were ever lucky enough to get that, it would be pretty awesome.

There was more news out today about the sequel, and your name has popped up quite a bit. I saw that, and I was thinking that your style would fit perfectly for some of the heavier fight scenes. As it is a movie geared towards younger teenagers and kids, you can't make it extremely violent. But your use of choreography would certainly keep it interesting to watch.

Jon M. Chu: It could be that way. But the one thing I felt was missing from the last Joe movie was the power of the punch. You want Joe to be tough. They are fun, but they are tough. I feel that you don't want to make Joe too kidsie. That is one of the issues they are having. But yeah, I would have so much fun. There are so many cool characters to play with.

What is exactly going on with G.I. Joe 2 right now? You've been in talks to directing, right?

Jon M. Chu: It is up to them right now. I have talked to them before. I am just sort of in it right now, waiting to see what happens.

Being a fan of the property, what do you hope to see out of G.I. Joe 2?

Jon M. Chu: I am trying to figure that out right now. I have a bunch of stuff written down. I have done a bunch of drawings and things. We'll have to see where that goes. Joe, to me, is iconic. It is as American as Coke and the Boy Scouts. To have that kind of history in a brand is so rare these days. And that is so powerful. So you can't treat Joe like its just another action movie. You can't treat Joe as just another petty commercial movie. Joe has history. Joe has always been a part of what America is, and now the world. What it means to be a leader and a hero. For me, it is about the fun stuff like Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, and all the gadgets. All of that stuff. But it has heart. Its heart is what America, and what heroes and leaders around the world, strive to be. I think that is what the brand needs. It needs the respect to be treated in that way.

G.I. Joe Retaliation was released March 28th, 2013 and stars Dwayne Johnson, Jonathan Pryce, Byung-hun Lee, Elodie Yung, Ray Stevenson, D.J. Cotrona, Adrianne Palicki, Channing Tatum. The film is directed by Jon M. Chu.



Sources: Oral Intercourse with B. Alan Orange

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Comments (41)

  1. Ryan Moran

    cool

    3 years agoby @nightwing18Flag

  2. Bane5000

    While we dont know how it will turn out till its released, but if it does as good as were hoping it would, how bout the guy who directed Battle:L.A

    Though an alien invasion flick, the realistic soldier and war look and action it seems to have, imagine a GI Joe movie in that style...

    3 years agoby @bane5000Flag

  3. Zak Lee Ferguson

    @Christopher-George Micky didn't make Transformers huge at all, he made it a headache to watch :L

    3 years agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  4. Zak Lee Ferguson

    interesting choice, but GI Joe I'm not really big on

    3 years agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  5. Daveactor7

    Second-its an opinion. Thats how I feel and thats how it will stay.

    3 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  6. Daveactor7

    @narrator I seriously don't care about him getting a break or not. His films have all been terrible to me and it will stay that way.

    3 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  7. MovieManiac

    I love the guys enthusiasm about the project. If he brings this much love into making the film then it might actually be good. I do no really care if his past work was crap. At least now he has a good writing team and he seems to love the source material. Although I was hoping for F. Gary Gray to direct this, I actually would not mind if this guy directed the film now.

    3 years agoby @moviemaniac66Flag

  8. Christopher George

    Please make GIJOE 2 a huge action film like what michael bay did with transformers it needs big actors and a good size budget and a good script dont just throw us a piece of crap if im going to spend 10.50 for a movie it has to be awsome

    3 years agoby @Christopher-GeorgeFlag

  9. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Ok so mentioning Bieber was stupid on my part, but I never said I didn't like his films. I enjoyed his two Step Up films. The choreography displayed was pretty awesome. Hopefully, since he has shown a serious interest to the sequel, he can bring it to the set

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  10. bud2fresh

    All this guys seems to be into is cashing a pay check or he wouldn't have did that 3d dance B.S. or the Bieber B.S. Anybody can say they are a fan of the show.Hell i'm a fan of the show that don't make me a good director.I base my opions on his previous work and it BLOWS!

    3 years agoby @bud2freshFlag

  11. the Narrator

    @daveactor7, no, it's ignorant, and more-so, blatant. Do you know how many directors there are these days? A whole f*cking lot. And nearly ANYONE will do nearly ANYTHING, just to get a break. Do you think this guy grew up wanting to direct the Bieber flick? Probably not, but he took it, as it was a chance to get his name out there, despite the material.

    He seems to have a level head in this interview, and while his past films have never been character driven, he's had crap scripts to work with anyways. That wouldn't be the case here, most likely, given the writers attached. So yeah, you don't really have much of an argument against a guy we've seen pretty little from. Again, he's not my first choice, but as @dan1 said, he seems coherent enough to simply execute the writers story, and maybe put a little more flair to the action. Bieber really has very little to do with this, so leave his sad name out of it.

    3 years agoby @narratorFlag

  12. D_art

    Never seen the Beiber flicks or the Dance flicks, but G.I. Joe NEEDS to be directed by a fan, and obviously he kwows what's up!

    3 years agoby @d-artFlag

  13. Furankisan

    @brian.....Thanks! I hope the studio see what I'm seeing on this site. Fans are damn passionate about their topic. Either they love it or really hate it. But on this topic this is so blah that nobody really cares either way. If I were a headless studio suit (what we call them on our show) I would think twice about spending $150-200M and getting a chick flick director. I'm just saying, lol

    3 years agoby @frank-ballFlag

  14. JasonKat

    b4 i even read what the page was about. i thought he was gonna be snake eyes, from the looks of the display, lol. I was like "humm, i guess he'll be replacing the other actor" since he looks like a ninja guy lol

    3 years agoby @jasonkatFlag

  15. TheMime

    The guys behind step up 3 and ........well, that's all The Mime knows.

    3 years agoby @themimeFlag

  16. JasonKat

    i never heard of this guy. neither did i care about any step up films, those r chick flicks. Anyhow. i dont really care who directs this, just get it done, get it right or atleast let it b grammy worthy for next year, lol

    3 years agoby @jasonkatFlag

  17. K-Man

    i meant GRAY.....f*cking auto spell

    3 years agoby @k-manFlag

  18. K-Man

    Well, if they want any chance of the sequel being a decent film they would hire F. Gary Grey, not this guy. But then again, I think I would rather see F. Gary Grey do something better than a G.I. Joe movie

    3 years agoby @k-manFlag

  19. Corey W.

    @dan1: damn. Its only 12:30 and I'm already going crazy. lol

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  20. Dan

    @corey I used letters.

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag

  21. Corey W.

    1. They wouldn't catch Justin Beebz because he isn't really an actor (yet).
    2. I wouldn't want this guy directing it.
    3. I could careless of this project so I don't know why I should care.
    4. I'll still probably see this, so lets at least hope production of it flows nicely.
    5. Zombieland writers give me hope.
    6. I stole the this number list from @dan1.

    hehe

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  22. Bane5000

    @ejk1...True buddy, there wasnt really anything exciting or to get u on the edge of ur seat with the action or the story, the only good parts were any scene Sanke Eyes was doing...more action, less daytime love drama

    3 years agoby @bane5000Flag

  23. Brian

    Well said, @frank-ball.

    3 years agoby @brianFlag

  24. Furankisan

    This Guy? There goes the franchise. All wannabees say they grew up with this and want to do the right thing. Yeah don't piss of the fans and kiss their ass by saying the right thing. . And they all want a chunk of the profits from a franchise. Man all these guys are by the book

    3 years agoby @frank-ballFlag

  25. Bane5000

    @narrator...Jeez man, it was just a joke, and yes it would be retarted if Beiber was in this, but will he be in say a million years nope, just being sarcastic with my last comment

    3 years agoby @bane5000Flag

  26. ejk1

    I couldn't care less who directs this film. What matters most to me is how the writers fix the abominable mistakes from the first film. Baroness is Duke's girl? Scarlet is Ripcord's girl instead of Snake Eyes? And Cobra Commander's identity is known? WTF! Let's clear these problems up. I want a real GI Joe, not some soap opera BS.

    3 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  27. Ensigndesign

    @bane5000 LOL funny funny
    I was totally against this guy at first due to his lack of experience. Pardon me for wanting some awesome director to come in and save my childhood's favorite cartoon. That last movie was pretty bad. However, after reading what he had to say I have more faith in him. He obviously respects G.I. Joe and I appreciate that. He seems like he really wants to create an awesome G.I. Joe movie and for that I got to support the guy. But Justin Beiber, really, WTF

    3 years agoby @ensigndesignFlag

  28. Daveactor7

    well its how most of us below ur comment feel about him :P

    3 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  29. Daveactor7

    @narrator no offense but seriously dont call our comments ignorant. Its how we feel about the guy and personally I dont feel hes up to it. His works are all terrible.

    Fincher and Snyder have proven that they can make great films but this guy has not.

    3 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  30. Dan

    A. He won't have Bieber in it.
    B. He's got the Zombieland writers behind him, he just needs to execute it.
    C. He's not my 1st choice, but he sounds coherent enough to handle it better then Sommers did.

    3 years agoby @dan1Flag