G.I. Joe Casting Buzz
UPDATED: ******* out as director?!
August 14, 2007 - Only days after we learned that Stephen ******* was in talks to direct Paramount's live-action G.I. Joe movie comes word that the Van Helsing and Mummy director may already have parted ways with the project.
According to IESB.net, ******* is out as the film's director because of salary reasons. The site adds that Len Wiseman may be in the running to replace him, however, The Hollywood Reporter just reported that he's in negotiations to direct the Escape From New York remake for New Line.
IESB also has the lowdown on changes that are being made to G.I. Joe on its way to the silver screen. If the current crop of rumors pan out, G.I. Joe fans shouldn't expect Paramount's version to bear much resemblance to the comic book, cartoon and toy franchise that inspired it. At least not in the "A Real American Hero" sense.
Word first surfaced months ago that the studio and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wanted to include the original G.I. Joe doll's British counterpart, Action Man, into the storyline, which would make the Joe movie a buddy flick. Mark Wahlberg has been approached to play the Joes' team leader Duke, and now IESB claims to know who the powers-that-be want to play Action Man.
The site reports that Wahlberg's co-star from The Italian Job, Jason Statham, is being eyed for the role of the British hero. "The producers are keen on keeping the Action Man character in the film to make marketing of the film easier abroad including using that name for international territories to avoid any potential negative reactions that some parts of the world may have with the name G.I. Joe," according to IESB.
Mark Wahlberg (L) and Jason Statham (R) in The Italian Job.
Oh, the purported changes don't just end there. The site adds, "The new GI Joe/Action Man team is expected to be made up of various individuals from around the world and will not be exclusively American or British. The characters will still be based from the original cartoons, toys and comics but with a globe-trotting flavor."