Monday, October 29, 2007

G.I. Joe No Longer Real American Hero?

According to IGN, the new G.I. Joe movie will no longer be about American soldiers but an international fighting force headquartered in Brussels.

Specifically, "G.I. Joe" will now stand for the following acronym: "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity."

And the villain? From that bastion of villainy and terrorism known as...Scotland!

The official reason for this switcheroo has to do with international movie sales...and the challenge of selling "American" overseas.

Rob Moore from Paramount's marketing division told AdAge, "Until there's a [locked] script, I don't think you can really comment on what the international reaction will be. In Bourne Ultimatum, you have the story of what is essentially an American spy. But the characterization of the military and the CIA is: They're the bad guys. In any event, there are parts of the world where it's an issue, like Western Europe, and parts where it isn't, like the U.K., Australia and Asia."

However, Hasbro COO Brian Goldner assures: "GI Joe is not just a brand that represents the military; it also represents great characters."

Not just the U.S. Military -- but "great characters" as well.

Hey, I remember another great movie about an international fighting squad:

Let's all hope "G.I. Joe" will be as good as this.


  1. There's a certain amount of irony in the fact that while it's always said that Hollywood blockbusters have Americanized the world, in this case the international market is un-Amaricanizing our blockbuster. And seriously, what is G.I. Joe without the the stupid, bigoted jingoism? That's like making Voltron without any robots. I am totally bringing this up the next time I feel like playing the part of the Ugly American for my international friends.

  2. One of my readers pointed out that Destro is a Scottish arms dealer. So that part is at least somewhat in line with the Joes we know. But that acronym is completely wack.

  3. They're anti-terrorist. How much more international can that be?

    Too bad they won't be channeling the bas-ass charge in with guns blazing GI Joe. Sometimes it is nice to not have to take things so seriously. Plus, if Iran was mad about 300, somebody will be upset with this film however you make it.

    Either way it will probably be better than the animated movie we got.

  4. Well Andy, I suppose that depends on who you're calling a terrorist, huh? Anyhow, as Zen Master points out, Destro is (somehow) Scottish, but uh, what? I honestly can't tell if you are joking about the Scotland thing. Anyhow, we all know that Cobra is secretly fronted by evil snake Shangri-La.

    P.S. The GI Joe cartoon movie RULES.

  5. It was news to me when they told me that, but apparently that's where he's from. *shrug*

  6. Have I told you my theory about how Tranformers: The Movie was actually a Tranformers and GI Joe: The Movie? An elite squad of soldiers teams up with the Autobots to fight the Decepticons? I feel like this is the sort of thing that's come up, but the line between stuff I've said at, say, Kettle and stuff I've only said in my head is an increasingly thin one.

  7. At first, I was slightly "WTF" about this news and then I thought about Transformers and how it was so shamelessly "rah, rah American soldiers beating up teh evilz!!1!" that I'm actually somewhat happy that the international community is being thought of.

  8. Well, it's a pity for those who helped maintain interest in the franchise all these years, certainly, but it was always about selling toys, and successful marketing is the best way to do that.
    I can't quite summon up the will to be offended by this personally, as I always preferred the UK Marvel comics - which were marketed there as Action Force - to the US cartoons, and those had a pretty international line-up of characters and were pretty fun, even managing to be very pro-armed forces in places without being jingoist. I suppose you could complain about it being a sign of creative laziness (or inability) on the part of the makers that they can't summon up the cojones to justify saying that the country with argueably the most representitive democratic process in the free world is actually pretty okay - barring a few pricks ruining it for the rest of us. The makers of Superman Returns were similarly ashamed of using the term "and the American Way" in that movie, despite it being a part of popular culture more than it is a sentiment expressing Superman's jingoistic worldview.

    I suppose it's ironic that in an age where we have a major studio like Warner telling us they don't make flicks with chicks, the major studio projects should display such a distinct lack of balls as a rule.

  9. Didn't the southpark guys do a movie about anti-terrorist action figures already? World police or something?

    What's really unbelievable to the international market isn't that the evil terrorists are from country X. It isn't that the highly trained and ludicrously armed commandos (operating against "terrorism", naturally) are Americans. We know how propaganda is made. We see it in every Blackhawk Down that Hollywood makes.

    The thing that 'international' people roll their eyes at is that in Hollywood, the heavily armed Americans are somehow still the underdog, still the people's champion, still the "good guys". Somehow, not the rogue state themselves.

  10. All I could think of while watching that clip was, what the heck is that bump thing that Van Damme has on his forehead? I know he's always had it, but it's damm mesmerizing. As for GI Joe the movie goes, not gonna see it.

  11. I laughed when I saw this, because this is hardly a switcheroo. They're staying more true to the original toy line.

    The Real American Heroes have been internationalized since their inception, except in the US.

    Here in Canada, the file card bios for a few of the figures/characters always had Canadian details and backstories (Grunt, IIRC was from Trois Rivieres), and I believe the same was done in the UK, Brazil, India, etc. (We Canucks and the Brazos at least qualify as American, in some senses).

    The Brussels headquarters in an unfortunate innovation, but oh well. At least the crew will get chocolate for breakfast.

    And I think Destro has been Scottish since his creation too, so I assume that's the villain referred to.

  12. I'm definitely in the wrong generation for this, 'cause all I can think is that it's a stupid idea, but there's no way the movie wasn't going to suck anyway.

  13. mordicai:

    Wasn't it just easier when we hadn't mined the Nazis and Russians to death? Terrorists can be pretty non-national. Cobra had a thing for building bases in South America and Creepy European castles and stuff, but they were pretty nationless.

    You liked the GIJoe movie? Have you watched it recently? I thought the Cobra-La stuff was pretty crap. Spores and weird snake aliens was pretty lame.


    But yeah, GIJoe was pretty diverse as a team. Changing it to an international team isn't a huge shift but GIJoe is so iconic as an American thing it just seems weird.

  14. not U.S.?

    fuck you paramount you will fail.

    fuck you cowards...