Paramount may have finally found a director for G.I. Joe 3. After G.I. Joe: Retaliation helmer Jon M. Chu jumped ship to make Jem and the Holograms for Blumhouse, the studio scrambled to find a replacement, with Casino Royale director Martin Campbell‘s name at one point ending up in the mix before he moved along. Now, though, Deadline is reporting that Disturbia director D.J. Caruso is in “early discussions” to take over the blockbuster franchise.
THR adds that, before a deal could be reached, Caruso would have to receive a stamp of approval from franchise star Dwayne Johnson, currently the only actor confirmed to return for the threequel. It makes sense that Ray Park’s Snake Eyes, Adrianne Palicki’s Lady Jaye, D.J. Cotrona’s Flint and Elodie Yung’s Jinx would all make appearances in G.I. Joe 3, but whether screenwriter Jonathan Lemkin will see fit to introduce a whole new set of characters is as of yet unclear. Only Johnson, around whom Paramount rebuilt the franchise for Retaliation, is completely confirmed to reprise his role.
Especially with the studio’s desire to capitalize on the possibly unparalleled star power Johnson possesses right now, it’s plain to see why Caruso appeals to Paramount. The helmer first made his mark directing Shia LaBeouf in the Rear Window-riffing thriller Disturbia, but his work on the bigger-budgeted techno-thriller Eagle Eye (also with LaBeouf) was what cemented his status as a highly proficient and stylish action director. His other projects have included YA adaptation I Am Number Four and Kate Beckinsale-starring thriller The Disappointments Room, the latter of which will hit theaters this September, but Caruso doesn’t have anything else currently lined up.
The helmer hasn’t had a big commercial hit since Eagle Eye, though (I Am Number Four was meant to launch a franchise but fell short of success both at the box office and with critics), so if Paramount, Johnson and returning producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura all decide he’s a good fit, it’s hard to imagine Caruso turning the gig down.
We’ll keep you posted as more on this story develops – the studio certainly wants to get cameras rolling on G.I. Joe 3 as soon as possible, so something official should be coming down the pipeline soon.