One thing that longtime fans might be disappointed to learn about "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" is that it is essentially a modern-day reboot. The Joes are now a willfully multi-national organization, fighting wherever there's trouble to defend freedom and liberty throughout the world. As for Cobra... they're kinda not even born yet when the movie opens. That's all I'll say, for fear of unleashing too many spoilers. Just know that you should take the "Rise of Cobra" subtitle very literally.
My point here is that a sequel is pretty much a requirement. "Rise of Cobra" lays some good groundwork, but it is not a proper G.I. Joe vs. Cobra outing. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura agrees. "In this movie, you don't get to see the full glory of Cobra," he told MTV in an interview last week. "I think that's going to be a lot of fun to explore [in future outings]."
Fans especially can understand the challenge of adapting a franchise like G.I. Joe for the big screen. Remember: it was a line of action figures first, so there are all of these unique characters to explore. Even the classic cartoon series had to account for this, generally focusing on one person's story through a given episode.
A movie adaptation gives you more time to work with, but there's still all of that action and overall exposition to be accounted for as well. What might that mean for a potential sequel?
"I think there's a lot of characters we'd like to introduce that we didn't get to," di Bonaventura said. "It's hard to juggle this many characters to begin with, so you have to be careful. If you add too many characters, you never really get to know any one of them."
"There's probably a few characters we'd all like to see," he said. Which would he prefer? Tomax and Xamot? The full Dreadnoks? The Fridge, perhaps? "Flint, I always liked Flint. I think Flint would be a character-- I hope we can figure out a role for him."
Of course, G.I. Joe isn't just about the characters. It's also about ostentatious war machines and fortified bases. So what's next for Joe and Cobra? Where's next? There's a Mobile Pit, which pops up in the tie-in video game but not the movie. I'm guessing a few fans might like to see the Terrordrome or the U.S.S. Flagg. Di Bonaventura has his own ideas however.
"Cobra Island is something we all really want to do," he said. "For no other reason that to get on an island and shoot. It would be really fun." Good to know those priorities are in the right place, eh?
In all seriousness, I can't think of many fans who wouldn't like to see the glory of Cobra Island plastered across a nice, big movie screen. And even if the producer is looking forward to some sunny, beachside vacation-at-work time, his heart is definitely in the right place.
"I love the sheer number of characters and the simplicity of the good vs. evil [in G.I. Joe]." As with most Joe fans, di Bonaventura is also not afraid of embracing his inner child. "Who doesn't love a good ninja? I've always wanted to do a whole ninja movie, so it was nice to have one or two and have some fun with it." To that I say amen.