The Real American Heroes are on their way back. But almost nothing is known about the sequel to last summer's $300-plus million grossing "G.I Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" other than the names of the writers penning the script: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick ("Zombieland"). In a far-ranging conversation with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, MTV News set out to shed a little light on the upcoming flick.
MTV: Have Reese and Wernick delivered a script yet?
Lorenzo di Bonaventura: We're not that far. I think it'll be pretty soon. It'll need a lot of work. They all do. I've had an occasion to read some of their pages, so I know the quality is there and the sense of tone is there. Paramount is very excited about us getting it going. No dates have been set. In our heads we think 2012 — that summer.
MTV: So then you'd start shooting when?
di Bonaventura: We'd probably start next spring.
MTV: Are Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the rest of the main cast going to return?
di Bonaventura: We haven't defined it yet. We're gonna keep that under wraps for the moment. They all did great and we liked them all. It's hard to manage as many characters as we tried. It would make life a little easier to have a few less. It'd be a hard decision to lose anybody, because they all did great.
MTV: One of the things that was really cool about the first one is that it was really global and took us to all these different locales. Is that globe-wide setting part of the plan for the sequel?
di Bonaventura: Oh yes.
MTV: The first film showed us the genesis for many of the G.I. Joe uniforms, weapons and vehicles. Will the second movie show us items and vehicles that more closely resemble the toy line?
di Bonaventura: You always want to evolve things forward. We're not just going to settle for the same weaponry or the same toys that we had before — I mean that more in a military sense than in a kid sense. I think 's part of the component of "G.I. Joe." are those advanced technologies — what can they do and how do they work? — and just some fun to the gizmos. It's part of that brand.
MTV: Has "G.I. Joe" comics writer Larry Hama been involved in the writing process at this point?
di Bonaventura: Not yet. The decision is always how do you balance letting him have some objective distance and also at the same time getting his opinion? What we did on the first one is that we waited until we got the first draft and then had him read it and comment and we fixed what he didn't like. That's probably the same thing we'll do on this.
MTV: Have there been any conversations about doing the sequel in 3-D?
di Bonaventura: No, I mean we're still working on getting the script. I'd definitely be open to it, but that's Paramount's decision. But myself and whoever the director is would have a big say in that. But at this point, we haven't gotten into that conversation.