You'll note further evidence of more Duke...or Duke that no longer dies. Apparently that was a nono.
In this sequel, the G.I. JOE team is not only fighting their mortal enemy COBRA; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence. The film stars D.J. Cotrona, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Stevenson, Channing Tatum with Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson. G.I. JOE: RETALIATION is directed by Jon M. Chu; produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Brian Goldner and written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, based on Hasbro’s G.I. JOE® characters. With a storyline that travels from the deserts of Islamabad, skyscrapers in Tokyo, the mountain peaks of the Himalayas, a sub-terranean prison in Germany to the streets of D.C., G.I. Joe: Retaliation is set to blow you right out of your seats!
With DUKE as the head of the elite unit, the spine and backbone of the group is ROADBLOCK, his second in command. ROADBLOCK is a mountain of a man who helps lead the team with experience, honor and an unbreakable dedication to his unit and country. Another beloved character of the G.I. JOE mythology introduced to the film franchise is FLINT, a solid and strong-willed soldier who has a bit of a rebellious streak. His special skill is Parkour, a very athletic and dangerous method of using movement and flexibility to maneuver the body to point A to point B. Another new character introduced in the film is LADY JAYE, the only female in the squad and never one to back down or be intimidated. An expert marksman who also handles intelligence, LADY JAYE is an integral part of the unit who fights alongside her male counterparts with equal passion and strength. Introduced to the film franchise, but a well-known character within the world of G.I. JOE is JINX, a female ninja and cousin of STORM SHADOW. Sure to be a new fan favorite is the explosive new villain FIREFLY, who is enlisted by COBRA to help break COBRA COMMANDER out of prison and take the stage on their quest for world domination. One of the more evil characters found in the G.I. JOE mythology, is committed to creating chaos and considers the act of destruction as artistic expression. In short, and in his own words, FIREFLY loves to make things go “boom.” RZA (BLIND MASTER) RZA, while best known as the founder, producer and mastermind behind the Wu-Tang Clan, has built an incredibly diverse and successful career as a musician, a composer of film scores, a producer, an actor, a businessman, a player and advocate of chess, and as the author of The Wu-Tang Manual and the New York Times Best Seller, The Tao of Wu. RZA will surely be a sought after action figure!
To satisfy the cravings of the toy enthusiasts and action-genre fans, the film is chock full of souped-up vehicles that the G.I. JOE brand is known for and an elaborate cache of diverse weaponry sure to be fun for fans. For Luke Freeborn, the vehicles art director, it brings out the kid in everyone. “Creating these giant toys and making them come to life is like being a kid all over again. We were all giddy with anticipation to see them actually put to work,” he says. The film features a wide array of weapons and vehicles that included two different kinds of tanks, three different helicopters, two different kinds of planes, a souped-up motorcycle, swords, knives, sais and other weapons. Said di Bonaventura, “Bringing these toys to life makes you feel like a kid again and I think people are going to be thrilled seeing something they’ve never seen before.”
When first creating the vehicles, the team was very mindful to push the envelope while still honoring the G.I. JOE legacy. “The directive has always been to make the vehicles as real and formidable as possible with dynamic silhouettes,” says Freeborn. “We strove to incorporate some of the toy language that we’re familiar with and hope to see.” One such toy incorporated into the film is the COBRA AIR BOAT. This massive and ominous looking boat is loosely based on the water moccasin toy with added elements that included twin engines, counter-rotating blades and enough horsepower to push it across dry land. Inspired by another classic G.I. JOE/Hasbro toy and sure to excite fans from every age group, the film features a new version of the iconic COBRA HISS TANK. To create this massive vehicle the production team started with a M548 base that took 12 weeks to build before adding the outer shell and flourish of a cockpit and extra weaponry. Vehicles art director Luke Freeborn explains that, “our biggest challenge was figuring out exactly how all of it would go together, how the base would work with the top and how it would be shaped together. We thought about the aesthetics of it and how to make it look scary and formidable. It was a true team effort to then make sure that the guns, tracks and steering all work and perform on camera.” A significantly smaller but faster tank seen in the film is the Joe Colton tank that ROADBLOCK uses to mow down his enemies. Although seemingly less formidable than the HISS TANK, the Joe Colton tank’s power comes in its speed and agility. Considered to go as fast as a ZR1 Corvette in the grass, the Colton tank has 750 horse power and can go up to 65 mph. In addition, the tank is outfitted with rocket launchers as well as a 100 lbs. 50 cal mounted on top that the ROADBLOCK character utilizes in a show of his great ingenuity and physical strength.