When it was first announced earlier this year that director Jon Chu was officially chosen to lead the production for Paramount Pictures' G.I. Joe sequel, it's putting it lightly that there was a mixed reaction from the fans. That's probably a normal reaction from the mostly male demographics that grew up on the comic and G.I. Joe brand, especially when considering that Chu's credits to date include Step Up 2 The Streets, Step Up 3D and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Again.
Whatever the case, Jon Chu seems to have heard the early criticism over his hiring and sat down with Box Office Magazine (via CinemaBlend) to discuss his thoughts on taking on the sequel, moving from dance-based production into action choreography and whether he will shoot the sequel in 3D.
His thoughts on Sommer's first installment, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra:
How did you get involved with G.I. Joe? Did you pitch the studio an idea, or did they ask you to direct it and ask for your thoughts?
I was always a fan of Joe. I grew up with Joe. I had all the toys and I had epic adventures - they'd be burned, they'd be in mud, they'd be hidden in the couch. I loved them. I'm convinced I learned the beginning of my storytelling from playing with toys, no doubt. And it's hard for me to put down any filmmaker's work because I know how hard it is to make a movie, and I never want to do that; just to be able to get it done is an incredible feat in itself. But there's something about G.I. Joe that has history, that has a soul, and there's very few brands have a soul. Like the Boy Scouts has something to do with America, even Mickey Mouse, even Apple has a soul to it. And Joe has a soul. And I've never felt like I've had a movie of Joe of where I can taste my childhood right there.
What he thought of the fan reaction from his hiring:
There were a lot of different reactions when you were announced as the film's director. How important is or was it to transition into something new and show people you can do more than dance-themed movies?
I've never made movies or any projects to have any sort of professional push. Even when I was doing dance movies, I wasn't a dance movie fan before that; I mean, I haven't even watched a lot of dance movies that I probably should have watched before I did the Step Up movies. But I love dance, I love movement, I love the idea that movement can communicate stories. John Wayne on the porch, Cyd Charisse taking off her jacket, each one told a beautiful story. When he put his hands in his pockets, he had an attitude. And even watching Michael Jackson growing up, made me believe in magic, not that I knew how to do his dance moves, but it just had a powerful language. And so when I was doing the Step Up movies, especially when I did Step Up 3, they were like whoa, Jon, you're going to get pigeonholed. But I've never done anything in my life because I'm afraid of getting pigeonholed, and I don't want to live my life like that. Like part of LXD which was really fun was that I got to play in all sorts of genres; even though there's dance in it, I got to play in a western, I got to play in a noir, which no one would have let me do, but it was a fun thing for me. So going into this, of course they're going to have their opinions. But I don't think they've heard my voice yet in movies; these have been like amazing projects and I had a great time, but I still feel like I'm still in school figuring out the language. I'll never claim to be the greatest auteur of all time and I'll never claim to know exactly what I am doing, but I know I love movies. And when people cheer when the hero comes on and boo when the villain comes on, there's an energy that I love about that. And Joe, to me, it's just natural extension of the symbol of a hero.
What he thought about Rachel Nichols (Scarlett) tweeting that most of the characters wouldn't be returning to the sequel:
A little while ago, there was some dispute about who was and wasn't going to be in the film. Have you worked all of that out?
I guess one of the actors tweeted that "oh, a bunch of these people aren't going to be in it," but I just got on the project so I don't know where she is getting her information. I know that I want to give a new attitude to this movie, and I don't know what that entails, but we're in it now so we'll find out, I guess.
Check out the rest of the interesting interview here. And sound off with your thoughts down below on Jon Chu being behind a G.I. Joe sequel.