Paramount and Skydance recently announced they’ve brought on Jonathan Lemkin to write G.I. Joe 3.
Lemkin doesn’t exactly have a storied screenwriting career. He’s dabbled in TV penning episodes for 21 Jump Street and Beverly Hills, 90210 (the good 90s version) and a handful of films, most notably Red Planet and Mark Wahlberg’s Shooter.
The Joe film franchise has been decent, but hardly the juggernaut of its fellow Hasbro toy brand, Transformers, which have all grossed at least $319 million. The highest grossing of the two Joe films was the reviled original, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which just reached $150 million. The 2013 sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, only managed $122.5 million.
Arguably the biggest problem with both films is that they don’t fully capture the Joe experience. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy +UltraViolet) was a step in the right direction, but it was still off. But luckily for Paramount and Skydance, there’s all kinds of easy “how to make a better Joe movie” guides via the stellar run of writer Larry Hama.
Hama is one of my favorite comic book writers as he crafted a throwaway toy license into one of the more popular Marvel Comics during the 1980s-1990s. And in the 150+ he wrote the comic, Hama cranked out some pretty spectacular stories.
Perhaps not too surprisingly, those stories hold up remarkably well even today and could easily be translated to a modern film experience. Lemkin need look no further than these 10 stories — each of which would make for a better, Joe experience than anything we’ve seen so far. So let’s get to it.