Director Jon M. Chu really shocked G.I. Joe fans when he made the jump from the "Step Up" movies to directing G.I. Joe: Retaliation, a movie that won over may Joe fans disappointed by the previous movie, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, something helped by bringing in the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Bruce Willis to lead a new team.
The movie was delayed from summer 2012 until March 2013 while it was converted into 3D, which one would think might create hesitation in a director to continue the series, but Chu has proven himself to be such a die-hard Joe fan that he signed on to direct the sequel earlier this year.
While that's still in the early stages of development, the filmmaker spoke with SuperHeroHype earlier today and talked a bit about another popular toy line and franchise that he's been actively working on developing, making a new movie based on Mattel's Masters of the Universe for Sony Pictures.
With a really bad 1987 movie having already been made, we asked Chu about his approach to a toy line that's not nearly as grounded in reality as G.I. Joe: Retaliation was and while talking about the work they've been doing, he mentioned that it's more likely that the "Joe" sequel will move forward first, depending on Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's schedule.
"I think that what helps us is knowing what we do in 'Joe' and knowing that 'Masters' has to be very different and has to feel very different, but the script for 'Masters of the Universe' is what really hooked me," he said about the project. "I love 'Masters of the Universe,' but I didn't know necessarily how to make it into a movie until I read the script and thought, 'Oh my gosh, I totally see it. I get how this is going to shake it up, I get how this is different from any other thing,' and it got me really really excited. We're still working on that one and 'Joe' has momentum right now. The audience has been great and they want another one, so we're rushing to get that done and Dwayne has a certain time period so it may end up that 'Joe' goes first in all those things and I don't know if 'Masters of the Universe' will wait for me or where that's going to end up. But right now it's been great. We've been designing a ton of stuff for 'Masters of the Universe' as a really beautiful, grounded, honest world - that's the best way I can describe it. It's everything you want 'Masters of the Universe' to be in terms of the fantasy but not in a way theatrical crazy way. It is actually a gorgeous world that we're doing in the initial visual concepts that we've been making."
Now, it was probably a foregone conclusion that Hasbro and Paramount Pictures would want to bring back Johnson to play the role of Roadblock, but Chu backtracked when we asked him specifically about his return. (After all, few of the original cast from G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra made it to "Retaliation.")
"I can't confirm or deny the reports," he said coyly, "But yeah we're continuing and of course the Rock is our leader and much of what he displays is what G.I. Joe and what the future G.I. Joe will be, but we're trying to figure all that stuff out right now."
Look for the rest of our interview with Chu talking about the DVD/Blu-Ray release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation (as well as a couple of possible characters for its sequel) sometime before its release on Tuesday, July 30.