G.I. Joe Chuckles and 'Snake Eyes': Paramount's spin-off frenzy into the stuttering franchise could finally break the Curse of Cobra
While the first film was tonally a throwback to the '80s, it also pulled away from the American-centric nature of the universe. The second installment almost got it right but was bogged down by a wafer-thin plot
It hasn't been a smooth ride for the G.I. Joe franchise so far. The first installment in the live-action series 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra' debuted in 2009 to a damp 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The 2013 sequel, 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' slipped a rung further and ended with 29%. The audience ratings on the site read 50% and 48% respectively. Nonetheless, they grossed over $675 million worldwide between them.
The motto of a Joe, however, isn't giving up and a third movie, 'Snake Eyes' based on the popular character is in the making. Parallelly, word out there is that Paramount Pictures is developing a second mysterious G.I. Joe spinoff. This time on the character, Chuckles.
The Joe who goes by the code name Chuckles first appeared in Marvel Comics G.I. Joe #60 in 1987, according to a report by Den of Geek. Last we saw, he was part of the animated 'G.I. Joe: The Movie'. He was seen as an undercover and infiltration specialist and so far is the only character confirmed to appear in the spin-off. Barring this, the only other information is that Paramount has reached out to Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec to write a screenplay for the new movie.
The duo worked together and contributed to the script for 'Mission: Impossible: Ghost Nation'. Incidentally, they are also part of 'Snake Eyes'. All these attempts suggest that Paramount and Hasbro are keen to continue and develop a shared universe around G.I. Joe.
Right now, the question is: Will they be third-time lucky? The franchise has already introduced key names from the G.I. Joe world and these characters were played by top names in the industry. 'The Rise of the Cobra' was criticized for being cartoonish, and nothing more than over-the-top action fest propelled by silly writing, inconsistent visual effects, and merely passable performances.
'Retaliation' took the big names quotient a notch higher with Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson in the mix, only for the movie to tank again, but fared relatively better than its predecessor. The first film was totally a throwback to the '80s and while it introduced Duke, the Baroness, and Cobra Commander, it also pulled away from the American-centric nature of the universe. The second installment almost got it right but was bogged down by a wafer-thin plot.
What's worse was the film killing off an iconic character in the universe. Duke (Channing Tatum), the star in 'The Rise of the Cobra' was shown to be a casualty during a Cobra assault in 'Retaliation' in the first few minutes of the film. To add to this, the franchise had a solid fan base with a chunk of its followers coming from the '80s and '90s. So it did look pretty unacceptable when a favorite was killed off.
The plotline for 'Snake Eyes' and the untitled Chuckles spin-off is still unknown, but if Paramount has decided to bring in two more movies to the fold, we can hope for all the boxes to be ticked and have the necessary ingredients for a blockbuster movie.