‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Producer Teases Original Joe And More Ninjas

G.I. Joe: Retaliation” addresses major complaints that two different generations had about the first film in the series “Rise of Cobra.” Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talked to MTV News at Toy Fair about the addition of the original Joe to the lineup—something to please older fans—and adding more ninja action for fans of the cartoon and comic books.

Di Bonaventura explained that when making the first “G.I. Joe” film, one of the most common questions was about Joe, the original action figure. “It’s interesting,” he said. “The most asked question I think I got during the first movie’s process was, ’Who’s Joe?'”

The producer said that Joe’s importance to fans depended on the version of “G.I. Joe” they knew growing up. “If you didn’t grow up with the cartoons and you didn’t grow up with the comic books, you don’t understand them as Joes. My generation seems them as that figure, right?” he said.

To make sure the fans got what they wanted, it came time to choose a man to play the legendary action hero. “We needed to pick a Joe,” di Bonaventura said. “Who better than Bruce [Willis]? He’s iconic in his world, and Joe’s an iconic figure. Putting the two together was kind of great.”

Fans of the more recent version of “G.I. Joe” grew up with Cobra Commander as the main villain and lots of ninja fights. “Rise of Cobra” took a (let’s say) unorthodox approach to the head of Cobra, but for “Retaliation,” we’ll see the familiar mirror mask and a lot more of the ninjas that became fan favorites. “You’re going to see quite a bit of Cobra,” di Bonaventura said. “He’s certainly the mastermind that’s pulling the strings. But you’re going to see a lot of Snake [Eyes] and Storm [Shadow]. That storyline is a very dominant storyline throughout the whole movie.”

But not only are fans getting more of the two main ninjas in the “G.I. Joe” universe, but director Jon Chu added many other elements from that aspect of the franchise. “We got red ninjas. We got Jinx. We have so much martial arts in this movie, it’s really great,” di Bonaventura said.

The producer confirmed that about half of the film’s fight scenes would involve martial arts, but some would also feature a hybrid. “It’s called Gung-fu, which is really, really fun,” he said. “It’s sort of a combination of great fight and great kung-fu things but it’s with guns. It’s pretty exciting.”

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