More G.I. Joe Plot Talk, Action Figures

Boy, G.I. Joe is sure going in strange places — like VH1, where this article featuring an interview with the film’s producer, Brian Goldner, appeared. Now I don’t know anyone who watches VH1 (I’m assuming you have to be, like, 50 to watch it or they’ll come to your house and take your remote away or something), but in the interview Goldner talks about the plot of the movie (the origins of Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, hell yeah!), and, um, Joe action figures with, one presumes, uber kung fu grip.

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“We all really loved what G.I. Joe was about in the ’80s; we loved that story arc and the concept of Joe vs. Cobra,” said Goldner, explaining that the people who created those characters will return, even if some of their creations won’t. Comics writer Larry Hama, Goldner confirmed, “is onboard, and he’s working with us on the script.

“And you may see him in the movie,” he added.

Noting that the flick, directed by “Mummy” mastermind Stephen Sommers, will largely sidestep the TV show and be more “about the comic books,” Goldner revealed some of the major characters and plotlines the film will explore. “We all know of the Arashikage [ninja clan], and we all know of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, but we need to build that story,” he explained. “We all know the story of Duke, and the story of the Baroness. … We know the story of Destro, but do we really? We need to go back and tell the origin story of how you get a Scottish arms dealer, who comes forward in history — how does that happen?”

“And Cobra Commander,” he added, referring to the evil terrorist leader who fan sites have reported will be portrayed by “Brick” star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. “In effect, this is all about the rise of Cobra Commander. … For fans, they’re really going to love this, because we take them on a journey. … We have to go through the first chapter and then build from there.”

So what about that whole no-longer-so-American-Heroes rumors?

“Duke, in our story, really represents the pre-1983 G.I. Joe,” he said, linking Channing Tatum’s character to the dolls of the ’60s and ’70s. “If those fans that grew up on the 12-inch Army man are looking for where their anchor should be, it’s in Duke; he’s the leader of the team and clearly American.

“But the story, just like in the comic books, was a story that took us all over the world,” he continued. “That’s all we were really trying to get at. And everything else that fans have heard, about the early ideas or contemplations, that’s really gone. … We’re talking about a story that’s going to take us all over the world, from the desert to under the water, to the mountains to cities. … Clearly, the American military is involved, as are other forces. But at the end of the day, the force that matters is the G.I. Joe force, and the Pit, and all the things that relate to that.”

So will I be able to buy my very own Marlon Wayans G.I. Joe doll — er, I mean, action figure?

The next question would seem to be a logical one: Will the Joes we know and love be replaced by toy versions of Marlon Wayans and Arnold Vosloo? “Well, what was so magical about the ’80s G.I. Joe was the 3 3/4-inch product,” Goldner said, revealing that the dimensions of the star-faced toys would be along the lines of the “Real American Hero” line. “[That size] gives people a chance to get all the figures but get all of the vehicles. So it’s going to be in that scale. … Very true to where we were in the 1980s, and then we’ll take it forward.

It’s all about the merchandise, baby. Kung fu grip most definitely included.

More G.I. Joe Plot Talk, Action Figures