As far as I know the following Hollywood tale you are about to hear is true, but that doesn't mean that it is true. At the same time I believe there is some truth to it.
Director Stephen Sommers has been fired from 'G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra' in the middle of the post-production, and he has been locked out of the editing room by Paramount Picture executive Brad Weston.
This huge chunk of news does not surprise me at all. A new editor has been brought in to try and salvage the mess that Sommers made. From the very beginning I thought Sommers was the wrong man for the job. You have all seen the trailers for the film and how bad it looks. Now the story behind the production may have been brought into the light. Here is the detailed story of what went down within the G.I. Joe film production, which was posted by a user at the Don Murphy Message Boards, it seems like the film was doomed from the beginning which is sad because it could have been an incredible and fun franchise.
After a test screening wherein the film tested the lowest score ever from an audience in the history of Paramount, the executive who pushed for the movie Brad Weston had Stephen Sommers, the super hack director of the film fired. Removed. 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. Meanwhile producer Lorenzo whose turkey IMAGINE THAT explodes this weekend as the new bomb in theatres (also championed by Weston) was told his services were no longer needed on the film either.
Sommers was then forced by his William Morris agents to pretend that he was working on Tarzan over at Warner Brothers doing design work, even though that film doesn't even have a good script yet. When word of the firing started to be whispered about in Hollywood, Sommers was summoned back to the editing room- but only to save appearances, Baird is still editing the movie with studio input.
Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, who turned down other offers from the property to go with the script that was rushed in 8 weeks by Stuart Beattie because of the writer's strike is frantic that this will destroy the brand and is distancing himself from the pending catastophe.
NONE of this needed to happen, except someone who did not know the mythology, Lorenzo was in charge of the film and never contradicted Sommers on anything. Lorenzo, so you know, was Chairman of Warners and had GI JOE under option there (not as a producer) for SEVEN years and he refused to greenlight the film, stating that because he gre up in Italy he had no knowledge of it. If you google enough, at one point you will see he wanted the film to be about an action hero named MANN (Action Man, get it) and he clearly had no clue what the GI Joe world really was.
And the hapless hack Sommers? Where did he come from? The confused Jon Fogelman at William Morris, who signed Hasbro away from CAA, had to find a director in a hurry for his new clients and gave him the only guy who he repped who would do it. A sad end to what COULD have been a great franchise. Acceleration suits indeed.
This my friends is a classic example of how Hollywood works and why most movies that get madeend up Latino Review who came across this huge chunk of information say's that they have heard through various sources that the above story is in fact true and everything checks out.
It would really suck if everything went down like this. The movie was just unfortunately put in the wrong hands. But who knows, maybe we will eventually get to see a decent Action Man movie. I'm a huge fan of G.I. Joe and I've been one since I was a kid, so of course I am going to go see the movie regardless of how bad it looks, and every G.I. Joe fan will go out and see it as well. It's just something we have to do because we have been waiting so long for this movie to get made. I just wish it was under better circumstances.
Hollywood is a strange beast. So what do you think about all this G.I. Joe madness?
Latino review spoke to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and here is what he said:
...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...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.
As with 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.
So there you have it. But I wouldn't think that anyone would come out and tell us that it was all true anyway.
As For the Film Testing:
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.
Source: Latino Review