As a “G.I. Joe” nut, I was intrigued by the long-simmering rumors that Brendan Fraser was going to pop up for a cameo in the “Rise of Cobra” film as macho Marine Gung-Ho. Sure enough, the movie comes along, but the “Mummy” star instead seemed to be some generic drill sergeant who trained the other Joes in hand-to-hand combat. So I couldn’t help but wonder: Who is he supposed to be?
The interesting thing is this: Fraser has no idea, either.
“I want to say that I know the answer to that,” the star said with a laugh when we caught up with him recently. “Who exactly was I? I did not know until I saw the credit crawl when I saw the movie!”
“I think the character ended up being named ‘Sergeant Stone,’” Fraser said of a decision that was apparently made long after he had shot his scenes. “I think they might have picked it out of a hat.”
“I know [Stone wasn’t a toy],” Fraser added. “It wasn’t there [in the ‘G.I. Joe’ mythology].”
But here’s the most interesting part: according to Fraser, the reason why Gung-Ho wasn’t in “Rise of Cobra” wasn’t that they were saving him for the sequel. Instead, it appears that Hasbro and Paramount couldn’t obtain legal clearance to use the name.
“For legal reasons, I couldn’t be Gung-Ho,” the star said. “I don’t know [why]; it didn’t clear legal at Paramount. Go ask them. I don’t know.” We did ask Paramount, and are currently waiting for their response.
Whoever the hell Fraser was, we had to follow-up on recent reports that a sequel is moving forward with the writers of “Zombieland” by asking whether the mysterious Sgt. Stone will return in that film to further confuse us.
“If I can emulate the character that they gave me,” Fraser said. “I’ll have to talk to Steven [Sommers, the director] about this. You know, that’s a good idea! I’ll have to do that over lunch.”
“I am looking for a job, actually,” he laughed, adding that the cryptic character may have an even more complicated backstory than Snake Eyes if Fraser gets his way. “Maybe I could be [his ‘Mummy’ character] Rick O’Connell’s great-great-grandson or something like that, who is actually in on being one of the Joes.”
Are you sad to hear that Gung-Ho may never be in the “G.I. Joe” movies due to legal reasons? Or is the open-shirted Marine too over-the-top for your tastes?