Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks Everything ‘G.I. Joe’

Well, you interested in this little G.I. Joe flick Paramount is working up? What? You think the casting is a bit crazy and off the wall? Well, join the club. However, a new interview over at IESB with Joe producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura answers a lot of questions in terms of characters, including the zany casting of Marlon Wayans.

Let’s first take a peek at the more interesting piece of the article, primarily referring to characters yet to be cast. This is my favorite part since I was never a HUGE “Joe” fan, but I did have the toys and I did have my favorites. My favorites were easily Zartan and the Crimson Guard Commanders. While there is no word yet on Tomax and Xamot there is on that other bloke as well as a Destro casting timeline:

IESB: Is Zartan going to be in the film?

LDB: Zartan will be in the film.

IESB: Are we also two weeks away from knowing who is playing Zartan?

LDB: Zartan is probably within the next week, week and a half. We know who it is, we are just negotiating right now.

IESB: Is he an Aussie?

LDB: (Pause) He is a really good actor, you guys are gonna like him. (laughs)

IESB: That’s very good. Alright sir, are we going to see another female character, Cover Girl?

LDB: Right now Cover Girl is in the script but whether we can afford her or not is another question.

IESB: How soon will you be announcing Destro?

LDB: Within the next two weeks, I will comfortably tell you that. We don’t have a guy chosen, we have the list down to about 4 or 5. All of them are of the English, Irish, Scottish persuasion shall we say.

IESB: Can we get a character breakdown? We’ve got Snake Eyes, we got Ripcord, Hawk? Any word on how soon we’ll be hearing about Hawk?

LDB: I would say within the next two weeks both Destro and Hawk will be cast…and I would say to you that there’s already been an announcement of a guy we’re in negotiations with who would play one of the villains…

So, I am praying they get a bonafide actor to star as Zartan and I want him to kick all kinds of ass. I would love to get behind this picture, but as things are so far I just can’t give my full support. Speaking of which, let’s delve into that Marlon Wayans casting as Ripcord business.

Di Bonaventura was asked the question outright about the casting and the concerns I am sure most fans have… Wayans is going to ham it up and turn it into a joke. Well, will he…?

IESB: Let’s go to the most recent announcement that kind of surprised a lot of people. Wallace Weems, Ripcord, played by Marlon Wayans. Tell me that he nailed the audition because it’s so out of the box here.

LDB: Well, let’s talk about Marlon for a second. A lot of people are fans of his from the comedic point of view obviously for all the right reasons, but what I think everybody forgets about is how damn good he was in Requiem for a Dream as an actor. And, when we were trying to figure out who would be the right element to make this combination work of Duke as the leader and Ripcord as the best friend who sorta gets Duke in trouble all the time and Duke has to bail him out all the time and have fun with him, we needed a guy who’s gonna be funny and we needed a guy who was going to be a good actor. And we went to Marlon and said, “We’d love to talk to you.” And he’s a gigantic GI Joe fan and immediately asked, “is Cobra in it, is Destro in it?” I mean before he even got to read the script he was so much fun to talk to because he understood what it was. So he got it immediately, and when we did the test, you know, we all looked at each other and the studio and there isn’t one person who didn’t think it was a no-brainer. So, from our point of view, he’s playing a military character who’s got some real good quips but he’s got to be good, he’s got to be physical, and I mean Marlon is a strapping guy, he’s got good size to him. So, I think the fans will feel, when they see him, that he is playing the solider that they anticipate anyone from the G.I. Joe group to be.

IESB: Got it, so he nailed the audition, he gets it, he got the role. So, it’s not that we are going to be expecting some slapstick comedy behind this or anything right?

LDB: Listen, we are trying to have some fun but the orientation of this movie as you can see from all of the cast members we’ve announced so far, it’s not about comedy.

IESB: Well, I’ll tell you one thing, considering you guys got Transformers right, we’re gonna trust you on this one. (laughs)

LDB: I’m happy to be out there telling people. It was frankly the easiest casting decision we’ve made in the movie once we saw the test.

I have to disagree with IESB on the Transformers comment, they did not get that right. In fact the comparison is cause for concern since the worst part of Transformers was the needless comedy. I also don’t think Di Bonaventure even came close to actually answering the question. He beat around the bush and the subject was dropped. This casting still worries me.

Finally, anyone hoping for an R-rated Joe needs to first wake up, and secondly read this answer as to the film’s rating, “Well, we can’t guarantee the rating but it certainly is not going to be R,” Lorenzo said. “I would think it is going to be PG-13, I would assume so, but I’m not the ratings board.”

It is actually a really good interview for “G.I. Joe” fans that know what the hell is going on in the world of “Joe”. For me I have only my toy and mild cartoon knowledge to fall back on. To read the whole thing click here.


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