'G.I. Joe 2' Gets Release Date, Loses Characters

So the G.I. Joe sequel gets a release date of August 10, 2012 and we've also learned that some of the cast is not returning -- what a shame.

Paramount has settled on a release date for their sequel to 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It looks like the action sequel will bow on August 10th, 2012. Originally, Stephen Sommers was set to return for the sequel, but bowed out in January. Paramount cast a wide net to find the right person to take over the project, and they finally settled on Jon Chu (the smashing commercial success of his most recent film for Paramount, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, probably had nothing to do with that). Chu directs from a script by Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

Just yesterday Rachel Nichols, who portrayed Scarlett in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, confirmed via Twitter that only a handful of characters from the first film will return for the sequel. Set to return are Lee Byung-hun (Storm Shadow), Ray Park (Snake Eyes) and Channing Tatum (Duke). So Marlon Wayans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sienna Miller and Dennis Quaid shall not be back.

Jon-Chu-imageWhile not much plot-wise is known at the moment, more importantly we don’t know what the budget will be. Ultimately, the budget will dictate what kind of film we’ll be getting for the sequel. The first flick reportedly cost $175 million to make. Will Chu, a relatively new director with no big-budget action flicks under his belt, be given a price tag that hefty to play around with? Probably not. However, Paramount will most likely be saving quite a bit of money by not asking the bigger stars from the first flick to return, so hopefully Chu gets enough to do the job right. If he gets the right budget, and Reese and Wernick turn in a script that doesn’t take itself too seriously, I think the sequel could actually turn out to be pretty fun.

Thanks to Collider for the scoop.