G.I. JOE: How America’s Special Missions Force Can Survive and Flourish Theatrically & More! – My Thoughts on The Action Fix Podcast!

In a first for the website, I have written a very passionate piece about regrouping the GI JOE property for live action and more. Check out my full article below along with a special episode of The Action Fix Podcast where I dig deeper into it and more! YO JOE!!!!!

You all know that I’m a GI JOE fan. Yes, from the late “70’s when the toy line was but a few characters who were much bigger than the 80’s line to today, I bleed YO Joe from sunup to sundown. When Marvel introduced the comic book and subsequent toy line in 1982, I was 9 years old, so this was right in my wheelhouse as I was the perfect age for what they were selling. The characters, the vehicles, the action were all to die for and GI JOE was always more for me then the Transformers. Sorry fans of the latter but I have always been a military action junkie, so they always won out over robots changing into vehicles.

Even more so, I am a huge super nerd for anything Snake Eye related as he has and will always be my favorite character in this or any other film or TV property. Snake is the perfect bad ass as he is not just a Ninja but he’s a Ninja Commando. Mind blown as a 9-year-old kid. Storm Shadow was just as killer in my eyes and I was always excited to read of their exploits in the comics and performed many battles of my own between the two with my action figures. As I type this, they are well represented behind me on my wall and bookcase.

The Core Group of the GI JOE Special Missions Force! Duke, Scarlet, Gung-Ho, Roadblock & Snake Eyes!

The cartoon was my go-to every afternoon after school and I have to admit that I still watch the corniness of it all to this day. The animates series and movie are definitely kid friendly but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying America’s elite strike force on the boob tube. I laugh, in a good way, whenever a plane, helicopter or any vehicle is destroyed, and you see the person safely making it out of the wreckage. I get it, kids are watching but as an adult, it is kind of funny.

You can guess how ecstatic I was when they announced a feature film based on GI Joe was in production and I geeked out just a little because I was going to see Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow duke it out (pun intended) on the big screen. I always felt that the cast for GI JOE: The Rise of Cobra was pretty spot on even though Marlon Wayans’ Ripcord was annoying but that didn’t stop me from enjoying every second of it, Worts and all. We all know how the film had an uphill battle to say the least as it was rushed into production to avoid a looming writer’s strike, which as I write this may become a possibility again. Rushing a script is never a good sign for a movie and yes, the film could have been helped by more care taken to writing the script, but it is what it is. Michael B. Gordon (300) did a fine job with what time he had to do it and I feel that the script conveys just the right amount of cheese blended with seriousness that is called for. After all, the movie went into production with an unfinished script due to the strike.

The box office for GI JOE: The Rise of Cobra was solid but not earth shattering, so a soft reboot called GI JOE: Retaliation was planned with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson taking over as Roadblock and the idea came down to make it more grounded than the sci-fi infused elements of the original. Tatum returned as Duke but only did it to do another movie and was killed off early. He has gone on record in saying that he hates doing these films. Once again, the film made money but not Transformers money so here we are today still waiting for another full-on JOE adventure onscreen. we did get Snake Eyes: GI JOE Origins a few years ago starring Henry Golding but that film was mishandled in so many ways I lost count but dammit if I still don’t enjoy it. Once again sue me because I can give a shit. Yes, it’s a complete Henry Golding show and that’s why he never really suits up until the very end, but I still love Andrew Koji’s performance as Storm Shadow and the action did leave me wanting but I still am entertained by it all. This film was not financially beneficial for Paramount, so we wait and see what comes next.

Interestingly enough, Snake Eyes was supposed to lead into a full-blown GI JOE flick called Ever Vigilant (I love that title BTW) but because of the box office failure of the last attempt, Paramount is being more cautious as to what to do next. Ever Vigilant was supposed to happen first coincidentally Howe but it was shelved for Snake. What to do, what to do…

Well, as a fan from the beginning, I have a few ideas for what to do next with the property. One aspect being that I feel that GI JOE would be better suited for streaming rather that theatrical. There was actually a planned TV series in development which would have centered on Lady Jaye who was played by Adrianne Palicki but that never happened for certain reasons. It was in development before Paramount Plus became a reality, so Amazon was interested in it.

Even though that series was killed, I still feel that GI JOE would flourish as a series of films on a streaming site like Paramount Plus who owns the rights or as a series that can delve even more into the larger stories this property has to offer. For whatever reasons, Transformers is made for theatrical release. The special effects, huge set pieces and imagination just seem to capture audiences even when the reviews are far from stellar. It’s evident that military themed shows flourish on streaming sites like The Terminal List with Chris Pratt which was a hit for Amazon or SEAL Team which was actually a CBS show until it moved over to Paramount Plus when there was a threat of it being cancelled. The powers that be liked the show and gambled on the movie and it paid off because fans supported it. That show has been a huge hit for the streaming site so don’t tell me that GI JOE couldn’t do it. Hire some good writers and cheaper but accomplished actors that could sell it and I think they would have a winner on their hands.

Another way to go is still make GI JOE theatrical releases but take the time and care to do it right. Give writers the time to make a good script, keep it grounded like Retaliation as Transformers has the Sci-Fi element going and this could keep the budget down and once again hire solid actors to do it that won’t break the bank with their fees. Keeping it grounded but still having kick ass and bombastic action set pieces will help as the special effects won’t kill the money situation. Establish a small core group of characters for each one and keep the most popular ones like Duke, Snake Eyes and so forth and change up the supporting characters in each film. That way, many of the characters of this large world can get their time to shine. Use Gung Ho here and Wild Bill there and that way fans can see all their favorites at one point or another.

Duke’s death scene in Retaliation is an emotional gut punch in my opinion.

Last, GI JOE could flourish once again in animated mode but unlike the original make it more adult. GI GOE: Resolute was a fine example of doing this right and it remains to this day one of the best interpretations of the property ever. Resolute was a web series that was turned into a film that ran almost an hour, the only bad thing is that we never got more of this and that is a crying shame. Characters died giving it a realistic element to it and Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow crushed it with their engrossing and hyper violent altercations. The Joes and Cobra used real weaponry with real ammunition and the action sequences rivaled anything we got in the films. The only downfall to Resolute was that it was a one shot and nothing more. Hasbro did make another animated series called GI JOE: Renegades but that one never lived up to its predecessor and was cancelled after one season. I was never a fan of the animation style used for Renegades and I though Storm shadow looked awful. If you’re going to do it animated, stay true to resolute and the real-life dangers infused into it. CGI could work too as Resident Evil has seen the CGI films fare better than any of the films or much hated Netflix series. The ones that I have seen rocked and were ultraviolent and thrilling with the material and action.

If you ask me though, streaming is the best way for GI JOE to continue on and hopefully the powers that be realize this and give us fans what we want. Lorenzo di Bonaventura was recently interviewed by another site, and he said that things are heating up more right now in regard to developing more live action GI JOE. We are in a lot of conversations about what to do with it as a film, and so I would have to say, most likely you’re going to see that come to fruition. How soon is always impossible to say. For a long time, there were no active conversations. There’s a lot going on right now.” Per Collider.

This bodes well for JOE fans as it sounds like they still want to get more live action GI JOE to the fans but listen to the fans. Listen to what we have to say. I will scream it until I’m blue in the face that this is one comic book and toy property that would flourish in a streaming world so hopefully, they see it too. Only time will tell what we get in the future if anything at all. My money is on the fact that we will. Stay true to the source material but you can change things up if it serves a purpose. After all, there are many different versions of this property and different ways in which we have seen these beloved characters in the past so, it’s OK to mix it up a little as long as you don’t go overboard. Like I always say…only time will tell and until we get more GI JOE, lets enjoy what we have and reach in deep inside and make sure that 9-year-old in all of us stays afloat. YO JOE!!!!

Snake-Eyes & Storm Shadow Team Up! Nothing Better as They are Back to Back!

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