Jon Chu Wants to Make a Tougher G.I. Joe Movie, Less Kidsie

I have to admit, my initial reaction to the possibility of the guy who directed the “Step Up” movies and Justin Beiber’s little cutesy pic directing a sequel to “G.I. Joe” didn’t exactly leave me salivating. That was, of course, before I heard Jon Chu talk about the property, and what his approach to it would be should he land the gig. (Word has Chu and “Law Abiding Citizen’s” F. Gary Gray as the frontrunners to replace Stephen Sommers as director on the franchise.)

Talking to Movieweb, who really pushed the “Joe” sequel questions, Chu did the usual “I don’t know if I’ll get it, we’ll see” dance about landing the gig, then talked more about what his approach would be:

But the one thing I felt was missing from the last Joe movie was the power of the punch. You want Joe to be tough. They are fun, but they are tough. I feel that you don’t want to make Joe too kidsie. That is one of the issues they are having. But yeah, I would have so much fun. There are so many cool characters to play with.

I have a bunch of stuff written down. I have done a bunch of drawings and things. We’ll have to see where that goes. Joe, to me, is iconic. It is as American as Coke and the Boy Scouts. To have that kind of history in a brand is so rare these days. And that is so powerful. So you can’t treat Joe like its just another action movie. You can’t treat Joe as just another petty commercial movie. Joe has history. Joe has always been a part of what America is, and now the world. What it means to be a leader and a hero. For me, it is about the fun stuff like Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, and all the gadgets. All of that stuff. But it has heart. Its heart is what America, and what heroes and leaders around the world, strive to be. I think that is what the brand needs. It needs the respect to be treated in that way.

I have no doubt that if F. Gary Gray got the sequel, he would put out a polished product that will have its moments but would be, at the end, somewhat middle-of-the-road. Like Paul W.S. Anderson, Gray has never really stood out as a director; he’s always been good, the kind of guy who got things done, but never really great.

Jon Chu, on the other hand, is a wild card, and that has me intrigued…