One of the last vestiges of the lame, pre-strike rushed-into-production bad ideas is the "G.I. Joe" movie so it's ironic and fitting that with the strike coming to a close, the final pieces of casting for the military movie based on a cartoon made to sell action figures would fall into place.
The last piece of news just days before shooting is to commence? David Murray (who?), who was to play the (apparently Scottish) arms dealer Destro, has been replaced by British actor Christopher Eccleston (we must have missed that accent when we were kids; mostly cause it wasn't there; Eccleston is "Doctor Who" in the U.K.).
The film and its very C-list cast looks like this: (with visual aids above and below) Dennis Quaid plays General Hawk; Channing Tatum will portray Duke; 'Star Wars' ninja guy Ray Parks will play the silent Snake Eyes (thank god, he can't actually act); some hottie Rachel Nichols will dye her hair red to play crossbow enthusiast Scarlett; Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje will be Heavy Duty (a controversial move, see below*); Morrocan actor Said Taghmaoui will play the part of communications expert Breaker (who was white originally); Marlon Wayans' career is apparently nowhere so he'll be taking on the role of parachuting specialist Ripcord (also originally white); Sienna Miller - perhaps the only barely B-list name here - will depict the evil Baroness and some guy named Byung-hun Lee will represent the badguy ninja Storm Shadow. In a sad move set to derail his promising career, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will stoop so low to apparently play Duke's best friend who may or may not be Cobra Commander (we hope to god he made some serious bank; update: apparently confirmed now). The film is already scheduled to hit theatres August 7, 2009.
How are they going to make this absurd premise work in reality? The premise being: a highly capable branch of the U.S. military's - the Joe's - main purpose is to defend the world against enemy attack from COBRA, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world (and who are independently wealthy and evidently possess an endless number of foot soliders pawns to waste).
Who knows and who cares? Maybe the plot is besides the point?
As our pal Mr. Snruff points out, no matter how wildly bad and retarded this concept is, people (or at least adultlescents) will still care no matter what, seeing as "G.I. Joe" - and specifically the Hasbro series - is a cultural touchstone of American male childhood for an entire generation of (mostly white) men. In other words never underestimate people's desperate need to indulge and participate in nostalgia against their willful and knowing better judgement.
Knowing is apparently not half the battle anymore.
Regardless, die-hard Joe fans (nerds of the highest order) might be upset that the *African-American heavy-metal gunner Roadblock has been replaced with the character Heavy Duty - an EXTREME '90s update of the character (who is apparently Roadblock's son). To most comic book store employees, this is surely a outrageous move, not in the spirit of the original concept, worth logging on to message boards and firing up a storm of indignant vitriol.
Dennis Quaid is apparently signed on for THREE sequels in case this thing catches on in the blockbuster summer season of 2009. Good god, help us.
Politically Incorrect Casting Choices:
We honestly really despise when movie bloggers give their inspidly earnest ideas of who should be cast in a film when the topic relates to their nerdy every day life (suggestions only come via comic/adventure books only). Our instant reaction is we could give a flying fuck, but we can't resist here. Especially since there are so many damn characters not represented above that were important parts of the cartoon, comic book and action figures (don't forget to buy those action figures).
Gung Ho: as played by John Waters
In keeping with the modern military’s stance of "don't ask, don't tell," casting John Waters as Gung Ho - a thinly veiled homoerotic character to begin with - will not only place the squarely '80s cartoon in a modern setting, it will open up the audience to a larger, more fabulous demographic.
Bazooka: as played by Randy Quaid
A dim-witted hick missile specialist known for chewing gum on the job and not being the sharpest pencil in the shed? Does this role have Randy Quaid's dullard personality written all over it or what? Plus Quaid's a loose-cannon in real life too. Sounds like it's a match made in heaven.
Spirit: as played by Lou Diamond Phillips
He's G.I. Joe's expert Native American tracker, what else would he be? Lou Diamond Phillips is America's go-to Native American actor. What other choice do we have, really?
Buzzer: as played by Dee Snider
Buzzer is a member of the infamous Dreadnoks - a villainous biker gang employed by Cobra. Buzzer enjoys punching people's teeth out and playing with chainsaws. Dee Snider is the former lead singer of drag-queen biker metal act Twisted Sister. Much like the biker character, Snider is uncouth and violent in many Sister videos where slobbering ex-Green Beret fathers are thrown from 2nd-story houses onto the ground. Game, set, match.
Maybe we'll hear an updated version of the theme song as sung by Cobra Starship? Here's to hoping.
Watch: "G.I. Joe" Cartoon Theme