The gossip story of the day so far is that Paramount’s upcoming “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra” is so bad that the director may have been fired.
It all began when a posting on Don Murphy’s message board, now removed, claimed that a test screening of the upcoming action film scored the worst marks in the studio’s history. As a result Paramount exec Brad Weston had the film’s director Stephen Sommers (“The Mummy,” “Van Helsing”) fired and locked out of the editing room.
Stuart Baird, a renowned “fixer” editor was brought it to try to see if it could be made releasable, while producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura was told “his services were no longer needed on the film either”. When word of the firing started to get around, Sommers “was summoned back to the editing room but only to save appearances, Baird is still editing the movie with studio input.”
Latino Review then followed that post up with a few checks of their own. While columnists have been quick to slam the film, it apparently is tracking quite well, and so the site got in contact with di Bonaventura himself to ask if the report had any truth?
“It’s completely untrue he was never asked to leave or been fired or any of that. That’s ridiculous. The movie tested very well. Everybody was happy, the studio was happy, the filmmakers were happy, the audience was happy with the movie. We had three test screenings, three different times and tested it and each time it just got better and better. We started off in a good place and we ended up in even in a better place, which is what you hope on a film from testing it.”
So what happened in the editing room? “Nothing that doesn’t happen on every other movie, which is that you constantly work and work and work and you make it better and better. We had a delay on visual effects so we waited a long time to finish the movie but that’s the only thing. I don’t really know why that would be
interpreting it negatively but I guess it was”.
Still, many remain dubious. There’s been blood in the water on this film for a while and many online critics seem to have already made their minds up on the film. Sommers has generally provoked dislike amongst critics, and the word is with ‘Joe’ he essentially got total creative freedom to do what he wanted. Has that resulted in a workable film? We’ll find out in two months.