Sunday, July 13, 2008

A bunch of Joe news

Over the past little while there has been a bunch of great G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra news and I simply haven't had time to share it with you. But trust me this is all just awesome stuff.

Especially the biggest most awesomest news of all. There's a new G.I. Joe animation on the way!!! No word exactly on whether the series will be on tv, on the web, or just sold on dvd but it sounds fantastic! Taking a cue from Clone Wars, this Joe series, called G.I. Joe: Resolute, will be a microseries, consisting of ten, 5 minute episodes, and one, 10 minute season finale episode. So all told we're talking about 60 minutes of Joe action. As you can imagine this might be a difficult product to find a place for on regular television. But honestly I just don't care because it sounds great. The always excellent Joe resource has a great breakdown of the sneak peak that was recently shown at the New York Licensing Fair. The show will be PG-13 and aims to be exactly what we've always wanted from our Joe cartoon. The action will be intense, people will die, and the characters will be badass. Read the full report at Hisstank.

I am very excited by this news if you couldn't tell. The past few Joe outings in animation haven't been too great. I am decidedly NOT a fan of Sigma 6, and as for the direct to dvd fare, while Spy Troops was alright (mostly due to the awesome Shipwreck centric story), Valor vs Venom was extremely weak, and if anyone out there other than me has seen Ninja Battles, you know it was like they weren't even trying... Hasbro claims that this new series isn't about trying to make a ton of money for the company, its about being creative, doing something we all want, and increasing the brand presence before the live action movie gets into gear next summer. Great stuff.

The next piece of Joe news is also awesome. Remember back at the beginning of the year when they were just starting to cast the Joe movie? It was reported then that veteran British stage actor David Murray would be playing Destro in the film, but then quickly due to some VISA issues he had to drop out and was replaced by everyone's favorite 9th Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston. Well it now appears that Murray is back in the film, and no he's not replacing Eccleston, he's actually in the film playing another Destro! The original Destro to be exact, According to IESB, he will portray the character James McCullen the 1st, the ancestor to the current day tyrant and arms dealer. He will be the first of the clan to wear the iron mask.... Which means, that we are definitely going to be getting flashbacks into Destro's family history! Awesome. I only vaguely remember that episode of A Real American Hero where they told this story, but it always stood out in my mind as extremely cool. And everyone knows Destro is the most badass of all the villains. This is exactly the kind of thing I want of my G.I. Joe movie.

In other Joe movie news, it seems that Brendan Fraser was not exactly clear before when talking about his cameo role in the Joe film. Instead of playing Gung Ho, Fraser recently told the Winnipeg Sun that he is actually playing Rock & Roll. AND he'll be riding by us on the classic Joe vehicle, the three wheeled motorcycle called the RAM.

Next up is a bit of ancillary news that's sure to make some people very happy. As you probably know, IDW recently got the license to make a new G.I. Joe comic book line. The question among the fan community was how would they handle the original Marvel continuity or the more recent and affecting Devil's Due stories? Also, what about the rumors that Joe comic legend Larry Hama himself would be involved... Well IDW editor-in-chief Chris Ryall has directly answered the fans questions on their message board, check via IESB, and he says they've made the decision to start fresh in terms of continuity. He gives a long and very well thought out response to the question though, and I think brings up valid points. They respect everything that's come before of course, but they will treat this as something of a reboot, he calls it G.I. Joe: A New Beginning, which I think is kind of sweet. Also he confirmed that Larry Hama will in fact be working on the book, which is simply the best possible news for everyone. And he even notes that IDW will now have republishing rights to the old Marvel and DDP stories, so hopefully we'll get some more of those hard to find trades on the shelves. The first issue #0 will come out this October, followed by #1 in January.

Finally, onto the bread and butter of the Joe franchise, the toys. Well, in a somewhat historic move, Hasbro is finally letting an outside company take a crack at a 12" Joe line, and thankfully it's Sideshow Collectibles. After the notable work they did over the years on the 12" Star Wars figures, really bringing that size of doll back into vogue there's really no one else I would think of for this kind of job. Check out Sideshow's two excellent behind the scenes videos on the making this new venture and what approach they're taking, followed by a look specifically at their Snake Eyes figure, here and here. So far Snake Eyes is the only one on sale, and the exclusive version is sold out, but you can own the regular version yourself for a mere $120... ok, maybe that's a bit steep, but he is pretty damn cool.

Remember everyone, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra hits theaters August 7th, 2009. It's gonna be big! And hopefully we'll get more details on the new series soon as well. Stay turned. For a little final Joe fun, check this out :)

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