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The upcoming G.I. Joe 3 has been riding on rocky road ever since director Jon Chu decided to take a personal detour and go make Jem and The Holograms. Paramount, however, has no interest in hitting the pause button on one of their biggest franchises. Hence, the studio has just signed a deal with a new screenwriter to work on the sequel's script.
Variety was the first to report the news, saying that the G.I. Joe 3 writing duties are being handed over to Jonathan Lemkin. We've previously heard that the studio was bringing in Snow White and the Huntsman scribe Evan Daugherty for the gig, but this new story makes it seem like Lemkin will be working with a clean slate - minus what the studio and toy companies already have in mind, of course. As we learned last week, the plan is to have Dwayne Johnson return as Roadblock and become the main character of the franchise. Also expected to Adrianne Palicki, who played Lady Jaye in Jon Chu's G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Lemkin is a legitimate veteran in the industry and has credits going back to the mid-80s, when he wrote three episodes of Hill Street Blues and seven episodes of 21 Jump Street. He made his jump from television to the big screen in 1997 when he wrote the screenplay for the Al Pacino-Keanu Reeves horror drama The Devil's Advocate. His credits since include the story for Lethal Weapon 4, and the scripts for the sc-fi thriller Red Planet and the Mark Wahlberg-starring Shooter. This marks the second time in recent weeks that Lemkin made a deal with Paramount, as he is also penning The Longest Night, based on a GQ article about a shipwreck, for director Frank Marshall (Congo, Arachnophobia).
There is no director currently attached to helm G.I. Joe 3, but that's not stopping Paramount from laying down a schedule. Their current plan is to start production on the movie in the second quarter of next year, and then have the finished product ready for an unspecified date in 2016. With that in mind, it's very likely that the film will be mimicking G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which was a big hit when it came out in March 2013 (after being delayed nearly a year to put the movie through a post-production 3D process). Having this pan out will require getting a director in place sooner rather than later, so you can probably expect to hear some news on that front in the next few weeks.
Are you excited for G.I. Joe 3? Who among the cast from the first two movies would you like return? Are you confident that Jonathan Lemkin can deliver a good script? Tell us what you're thinking in the comments section below.