*

 

1.24.2013

Do you like ninjas? G.I. Joe: Retaliation has ninjas.



You had us at ninjas. Actions fans, if you're heading to movie theaters for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, you'll be treated to a four-minute 3D preview of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. And it's pretty damn ninjatastic.

The first-look footage features Joe specialist Snake Eyes facing off against Cobra nemesis Storm Shadow, played by Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, in an extended Himalayan action sequence involving throwing stars, machine gun fire, a mountain-top blade battle and a legion of scarlet-clad ninjas. It's a cliff-hanger. Literally.

Here's a shorter 90-second version of the preview:




The theatrical preview also shows off the movie's 3D post-conversion. Originally shot on film in traditional 2D and slated to hit theaters last summer, Paramount made the last-minute decision to push back the release date to 2013 in order to give Retaliation a full 3D makeover.

"It was shocking." says director Jon M. Chu. "But at the same time, we had long conversations with the studio like, 'If we're going to do this, we need the time to do it right. We can't rush it.'"

For Chu, who already had two 3D features under his belt, the ten-month delay was the opportunity to go back and create the 3D Joe movie he'd been subconsciously shooting all along.

"When we were shooting, we were also like, 'Dang! I wish we were shooting this in 3D! It would have been awesome!' because we knew the set pieces were really big and really dynamic. Obviously, you want to see The Rock's pecs in 3D."

At first glance, Chu might not have been fans' first choice to helm the G.I. Joe sequel. He is best known for his work on dance-centric projects, including two Step Up movies, the Justin Bieber concert film Never Say Never, and the dance adventure web series The LXD. di Bonaventura explains that it was Chu's lifelong love of G.I. Joe that made him the right person for the job.

"Jon came to the table with a great advantage: these were mythology and characters he took very seriously, and that passion was evident."

Chu says that this is a G.I. Joe movie for every generation. "We wanted to take cartoon stuff, the comic book stuff, the toy stuff, the old school action figure stuff, and say we have a piece of all of those because the G.I. Joe brand is all of those things... we wanted to bring all of them together."

The preview footage, which is part of a longer ten-minute Himalaya action sequence, is partially inspired by the classic 1984 G.I. Joe comic book story "Silent Interlude," and is told entirely without spoken dialogue. The homage is the kind of detail Chu hopes fellow fans will appreciate -- the essence of the G.I. Joe he loved as a kid.

"I just don't want to disappoint my 12-year-old self."