Dwayne Johnson, known to his WWE fans as “The Rock,” has joined the cast of G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes, the second installment in Paramount’s toy adaptation series.
After mastering 3D and making studio executives heaps of money with Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Step Up 3D, Jon Chu is directing the sequel with the added dimension.
According to Variety, Johnson will play Roadblock, a formidable African-American character who regularly wields a .50 cal machine gun and aspires to be a gourmet chef. Do you smell what The Rock is cooking?
He joins a slimmed down cast from the original, which will reportedly only bring back Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun), Snake-Eyes (Ray Park), and Duke (played by the already committed Channing Tatum). Unfortunately, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will not be returning as Cobra Commander, a bit of a letdown considering the lengthy setup of his character in the first film and his considerable presence on screen.
The Rock should make a fine addition to the action follow-up, particularly for the size and charisma elements that Tatum is sorely lacking. He made Fast Five a better sequel, why not G.I. Joe 2? Paramount is banking on this being another August hit in 2012, especially since it looks as though Star Trek 2 could be pushed back without a ready-to-shoot script.
G.I. Joe 2, on the other hand, has a script written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, which should inspire some confidence for those who scoffed at a sequel or cringed at the mention of Bieber. Reese and Wernick’s patiently-waiting Deadpool screenplay is a favorite for the same reasons their Zombieland spec was a hit: strong understanding of the source material/genre, well-conceived action sequences, characterization, and lots of humor.