Fans of the G.I. Joe, in any of its various incarnations, may have some good news coming their way after an announcement by Paramount and Hasbro. Akiva Goldsman is going to do exactly what he did with the Transformers sequels, in order to create a more unified G.I. Joe gameplan.
Deadline is reporting that after successfully leading the writing room for three potential Transformers sequels, writer and producer Goldsman will have a similar role for the G.I. Joe franchise. What exactly makes Goldsman the man to breathe new life into these films? His approach to the material is not only in-depth, it's fan friendly.
Goldsman’s approach to film adaptations is by truly immersing himself, and the other writers, in all mediums of an existing franchise. For G.I. Joe, as he did with Transformers, this includes having the writers watch the cartoons, play with toys, and engage in video games in order to familiarize themselves with the concept. From there, the writers can use their knowledge of G.I. Joe to outline an overall arc that they’d like to tell over the course of a few sequels. So instead of handing the script duties to writers unfamiliar with the source, Goldsman's team will be certified experts.
G.I. Joe cemented its role in popular culture with a line of extremely successful Hasbro toys starting in 1964. The toy line has become one of the most iconic American toy concepts of all time, and was conducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2003. Following the success of the toy line, the concept was expanded into six separate animated series over the course of a few decades. That’s a huge cup of Joe, and it has only gotten bigger with a feature film franchise brought into the picture.
In an attempt to reboot the series, and in hopes of emulating the early success of the Transformers series, G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra was released in 2009, starring the always muscular Channing Tatum. Additionally, a sequel was released in 2013, G.I. Joe: Retribution, which added big names like Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson into the franchise. Akiva Goldsman’s involvement in the upcoming G.I. Joe films is a huge development for the franchise - as the series could use some fresh perspective if it plans on going any further.
So often, sequels bring down the original magic of the original film. With separate writers and producers involved, the overall story is often lost and disaster strikes, much like it did with X-Men: The Last Stand, which only winds up disappointing fans and critics alike. But with Goldsman involved, each film will be more connected, and will contribute to a larger story. He prides himself on finding serial storytelling, and interconnecting the past and present in order to truly satisfy the core audience. Since G.I. Joe fans span entire generations of kids, meeting everyone’s expectations could bring giant numbers to the box office.
Personally, I see this paying off quite well. I know when I was watching the Transformers series, I was disappointed that there was no mention or nod to the Beast Wars series I grew up with, and I can only imagine G.I. Joe die-hards had similar reactions with the first two films. However, Goldman is sure to give them what they’ve been hoping for, as his approach honors the material as only a fan could.