EXCLUSIVE: ‘G.I. Joe 2′ Director Search Is Ongoing, Stands Apart From ‘Rise Of Cobra’

Earlier this month, an alleged short list of directors for “G.I. Joe 2″ appeared online, listing “The Italian Job” director F. Gary Gray and “Never Say Never” documentarian Jon Chu as the frontrunners for the job.

While further updates on those directors’ courtship of the “Joe” brand are currently unavailable, MTV News had the chance to speak with Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner about the developing sequel and he confirmed that numerous directors are currently in consideration.

“It’s in the works! We have a really good script and we’re right now talking to a number of directors,” he told us. When asked if the director search officially puts original helmer Stephen Sommers out of the running, Goldner replied: “I don’t know if I can comment. I don’t know if the studio has commented yet. But we’re certainly talking to some people.”

It’s not a confirmation on Gray or Chu, but Goldner’s words are a strong indicator that Sommers really and truly is gone, even if the Hasbro CEO himself won’t comment on the topic. He was considerably less restrained when discussing the story of the “G.I. Joe” sequel, praising the script from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick for its ability to stand alone while tipping its hat to “Rise of Cobra.”

“There is a really great idea in the second ’G.I. Joe,'” he said. “In many ways, it’ll be great for the people who saw the first one, but you don’t need to have studied every element of the first one to enjoy the second. We’ve made sure that that’s the case.”

But if you’re looking for a direct tie between the two films – aside from returning cast members, none of whom have been officially confirmed as of yet – look no further than the twist ending of “Rise of Cobra,” in which we learned (spoiler alert) that Zartan had assumed the President of the United States’ position.

“Obviously, we know coming out of the first film that the president is an impostor,” Goldner explained. “You might begin with the knowledge of having your president as an impostor. What would that mean? From that, you can tell a very big story without only having to rely on the chronology of the first film.”

Tell us what you think of the “G.I. Joe 2″ update in the comments section and on Twitter!