EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and MGM are making a deal with Jon M. Chu to direct another installment of G.I. Joe. It was Chu who essentially guided a do-over from 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra, and it wasn’t the easiest process. The film was refashioned with Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis as its core leads. Even then, Paramount pulled the film from its 2012 release calendar (to make it 3D and do some creative enhancements) and did the same with World War Z (to shoot a whole new third act). It looks like the studio’s gamble will pay off in both cases. G.I. Joe: Retaliation came out in March to gross $365 million globally, and WWZ is beginning to generate positive buzz after being prematurely written off because of its production issues, now that people are seeing it’s a good movie.
It’s early days, but I’ve heard that Skydance Productions will be back in as financing partner with Paramount. The studio is meeting with a short list of four writers and should set one shortly. Chu has certainly broadened his reach, taking the G.I. Joe job after helming two Step Up dance movies and the Paramount documentary Never Say Never: Justin Bieber, a $13 million budget film that grossed $73 million domestic. Chu is repped by WME and Principato Young Entertainment.
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