After G.I. Joe: Retaliation scored at the box office and earned less scorn than its predecessor G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, a third installment was almost inevitable. And now that Skydance and Paramount have set G.I. Joe 3 for release in 2016, the studios are working on putting together a team for the tentpole. Today brings news that Lethal Weapon 4 scribe Jonathan Lemkin has been tapped to pen the screenplay.
Though most of Lemkin’s work has been on the small screen, with writing credits on series like Hill Street Blues and 21 Jump Street, the scribe previously penned The Devil’s Advocate and Shooter. Lemkin is also adapting survival drama The Longest Night from a GQ article of the same name for Frank Marshall to direct.
He’s certainly not experienced with the type of furious, effects-heavy action that will be employed for G.I. Joe 3, but the fact that G.I. Joe producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura was involved with Shooter is likely a key reason why Lemkin got the gig. Hopefully he has what it takes to deliver a strong, action-centric story.
Currently no director is in place for G.I. Joe 3. The second film’s director, Jon M. Chu, was previously assumed to be returning for the threequel, but that has not yet been confirmed (and with the popular helmer now being rumored for Now You See Me 2, fans of this franchise best not hold their breath). With that 2016 release date on the calendar, the hunt for a director is surely underway, and we’ll probably hear something official soon.
No plot details have been made available for G.I. Joe 3, but the third film is expected to continue the story arc established in Retaliation and focus on the character Roadblock (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who lifted the franchise off Rise of Cobra star Channing Tatum’s shoulders). Adrienne Palicki’s Lady Jaye and Ray Park’s Snake Eyes are also expected to return.
Currently, Paramount and Skydance are eying a production start date in the second quarter of 2015, so that the film is ready for release early in 2016.
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