G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) Movie Script

And this is Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
the producer.
Ethan and John. they did all the ninia
star sounds for those stars right there.
lt's always hard to deal
with these multiple logos.
So many companies.
gets to create a little mood atmosphere
as you sit down in the movie and relax.
who l actually went to college with.
it was raining so hard
you couldn't even get out of the car?
And we were desperately looking for
a location we could actually afford.
And we had to build that giant.
giant fence that went all the way back.
There's a scene that comes in
right after this that we always loved.
And l think for Jon and l
it's always a little bittersweet
"how to get that other scene in"
you know?
lt started with them on the grass
whispering to each other.
and we were like
right intimate with them.
Well. it was a cool scene in that
in an action stealth mode.
and sort of figure out who they are
on the fly. you know.
There's no tower there.
building it from the ground up.
Actually. in many ways. this movie
couldn't have gotten made at the scale
because we had this insane facility.
Yeah. like the rockets. basically.
for the shuttles.
this gigantic space they had
for transporting these things.
Yeah.
500/o of the movie within a 5-mile range.
- Yeah. A couple miles.
- Yeah. It's crazy.
When we first went in it. we were like.
"You guys are kidding. right?
We drove through it.
They say that building is so big
that it would rain indoors.
There's a lot of characters in G.l. Joe,
and it's one of the strengths.
because you don't have
enough time. really.
So this opening sequence here
was designed
of who the characters are. what they do.
and we could get
into the actual character motivations.
what are their goals.
when we came up with this idea.
and reintroducing these characters to
people who didn't watch the first movie.
as well as pushing
new information forward
This scene. l always loved this surprise.
And it also firmly established what great
chemisty these two guys had together.
because they had such a naturalistic
attitude with one another.
l remember watching the first take of it
and going.
- Yeah.
- You know?
Usually you replace screens.
any TV screens or stuff.
that we actually recorded
the video game prior.
And then we'd play back
while they were in the scene.
That's actually real timing.
which gets tricky.
- Yeah. yeah.
- Yeah.
and being incredibly accessible.
and funny.
That's a really rare thing
for two movie stars
As different as they are. they also have
those same qualities amongst them.
And l remember we needed to
give the audience permission to laugh.
and that helped. that scene itself helped
to not take ourselves too seriously.
they could turn around
and save the world.
This idea that our writers came up with.
Reese and Wernick.
l think it gives the movie
a sort of gravity that's unusual
And it's amazing when you do
something on a purely creative level
when you see events occur.
there's a lot of things you're
suddenly going. "Wow" you know?
and suddenly has
an additional weight to it.
'cause you had to be on a gimbal.
It has to...
but it was fun to do.
In fact. all the guns...
They're so expensive.
and they're so time-consuming.
"You can iust fake it.
You can just shake the camera."
and it actually makes
a big. big difference.
is that we once had The Rock
doing a Patton quote.
and get a sense
of how contemporay it could be.
What's interesting is. you know.
they cary different weights.
l think as a filmmaker.
You iust end up with a choice
where you emotionally think
The Patton quote had
a lot of strengths to it
But the Jay-Z quote had
a contemporay thing
You're not seeing where it's coming.
go to Duke as he says
he accepts his fate.
lt wasn't in the script.
It wasn't purposely done.
And that building. actually.
is part of the NASA facility. too.
Yeah.
we were given a lot of money.
a lot of the big tentpole movies
have been given.
So a lot of our creative energy
was put to.
And this building kept being
our advantage. l mean. this is...
is actually the fuel tank
that they put on the shuttle.
l mean. Iook at the scale of this thing.
which is crazy.
which we'll talk a lot about.
is a guy named Paul Borne.
But he was an amazing rock climber.
and a great rigger and stuntman.
that we would not have felt without
a guy like that onboard. you know?
And the actors need to feel comfortable
suddenly going down...
Yeah.
The height of that.
that's all 'cause he's rigged up.
One of the ideas. Jon. l think you had.
was. "How do you differentiate him?"
So he really fully went after it.
We had a bunch of Na SEALs
on the movie.
They hold guns in a certain way.
l think that's actually almost more
important than anything.
And it's iust a detail. too.
"Hey. how do you get from Place A
to Place B?"
and then the other actors would watch
and learn from that.
Details that l wouldn't
ever know even. so...
which is kind of where l learnt it.
because. l mean. what they go through
is so much harder than what we do.
We may go.
"Christ. we're working 12-14-hour days."
A debate that we had
from the vey beginning was.
"What kind of uniforms do they have?"
so we gave them
different camo patterns.
if you're going into a place
to have different camo patterns.
- lndividuality. yeah.
- Exactly.
And the Joes are a conglomeration.
which is part of what we were doing.
and that they all come
from different places.
And they all had their own personalities.
and it was like an all-star team.
Again. there's an actual firing range
on the NASA facility
We were like.
"Where the hell are we gonna do this?"
Yeah. literally.
Yeah. l think we had
a couple of them that...
You know. it's so about the kind of fun
And it was a really important thing
to really fall in love
because what's about to happen
is really grim.
after really falling in love with them.
This is the real gun range where we
would go to train our actors and stuff.
You can see all the hills behind them
are all CG.
- The magic of Hollood.
- Yeah.
- Yes.
- We kept thinking.
lt's iust funny.
And to fire it. you can see
how it pushes back on Dwayne.
- And the barrel gets so hot.
- Remember how hea it was?
Exactly.
but there's also a lot improvised.
and had real fun
giving each other a hard time.
that they were doing at each other.
Jonathan Pyce. though. boy. huh?
because obviously his role in the movie
is so important on both fronts.
There was actually a scene
right in between there.
to get to the door. but there was a...
...come in and...
lt's one of those ones where sometimes
Yes.
How did the process go for you
as you were tying to visualise it?
This was like a motion-control rig
that you shoot one part at a time.
And then you move the camera
the way you need.
And then once you pick
your take that you like.
And he has to dress up as the other guy.
and it has to be exactly the same.
And it's a really crazy process.
you have to make decisions on the set.
And you have to be peect.
you can't go back to shoot this stuff.
Jonathan's such a good actor.
- without the other half.
- Yes.
And then he turns around and does it.
lt's not a sequence that we had to
cut around peormance.
in this case him.
it can be tricky to time it.
lt was bizarre how easily it cut together.
And you wanted to show that
we weren't cheating it too much.
You wanted to see him
walk all the way around.
and to show that
these are two different people.
There's a lot of iokes he made
about the President's wife.
And "the quicker blower-upper. baby."
And talks about interns.
bringing back the interns.
"What would a President have
underneath his building?
"Would it be..." Like. what is it?
For such a simple space.
lt was. "Exactly who
is flying these helicopters?"
"Are they Cobra soldiers
that are flying it? What are they?
lt was a big conversation piece
by the studio.
And eveybody... We all kind of...
lt kind of went around and around.
l think.
because it was iust...
Yeah.
this area is actually a sandpit in...
- lt was in St Francisville.
- St Francisville. there you go.
- we found this huge sandpit.
- Baton Rouge.
which was one of the things
when we first went there. we're like.
'Cause that's not your vision of it.
You know. your vision is bayou.
- God. it was miserable.
- And my first action movie.
That Hummer is a real blowup
of a Hummer.
lt was a big rig.
Eveyone's super nervous.
And you have over 300 eras
running around.
You can't step in the wrong place.
lt's funny how you bring different things.
"All right. that thing's gonna go
over there" you know.
But you know.
one of the things about this was.
That ain't makeup.
We're in a hot desert environment.
- At night it was 100 degrees.
- Yeah. It was insane.
And they're in this full battle gear.
and they couldn't have been hotter.
who was iust so determined
that nobody would faint
l don't think l ever saw her without
30 bottles of water in her hand.
And this is amazing. this well.
The well in the real world. on the top.
And we had to tie that all together.
And you could be at any part of the well.
And it was pretty awesome to
shoot in a tank like that.
l think if you don't know its complication.
it doesn't seem all that complicated.
and how do you go underwater.
the ability to
move the camera anhere.
And that really was. you know.
- Andrew Menzies. our...
- Our production designer.
something that gave you
the ability to shoot it in a way that
'Cause we had to
fit a whole crew down there.
And he literally gave us space
to be able to do all that.
There's one shot
where he jumps into the well.
as if it's like lice in Wonderland,
a camera right below him.
When he iumped.
he dropped the camera with him.
ln fact.
where they're about to walk up to.
But we made an identical set
across the way.
and then destroy it. and then redress it.
for the explosions
to show the aftermath.
you need a tunnel that high so
you can fit your crew and eveyone in.
it gives you a sense of reality.
We didn't create...
That's not a green screen effect.
'cause we have all these guys and girls
And we're like.
"Well. we just need to make it simple
And the effects that you put on.
and the filters.
And that move. you know. that was...
for when they would go up the well
to be back-to-back like that.
But it's actually really cool.
It shows strategy.
lt communicates something. you know.
about. yeah. both the strategy.
- They're not gonna make it alone.
- Yes.
was take these people who are
going to be the heroes of the movie.
ln fact. and disgrace them.
You know. this moment of realisation
as they're looking out. they're going.
There's anger. there's sadness.
there's a lot of emotions.
you felt for them.
and you were behind them.
And those people dead in the desert.
They're not mannequins.
Those are real people lying in that.
This is probably like
120 degrees at this point.
'Cause it was
our first week of shooting again.
We really wanted to feel that.
having all those little errors.
all those little teures to it
One of the things when you came on.
which l so related to.
and who to make it with. is. you know.
Like you can see how The Rock's
armour has been used before.
lt's got hea-duty stuff
that's gone through it.
communicated a toughness
to the movie.
And l think that there was a lot of other
things that were related to that.
of what these people look like
really influenced how you feel about it.
There was parts where this was gone.
'cause it was
a little confusing for people
lf you didn't know the lore.
this might be confusing.
But Walt Goggins is iust brilliant.
Well. really. that opening sequence
was really what saved this.
understand the trick we were gonna do
in this sequence.
'Cause not only was Walt brilliant in it.
but he's a fun guy to be with.
So Jon and l were both so incredibly...
Yes. And l love that Walt's
in his casual wear today.
- That's right. yeah.
- And that building. we actually built.
Yeah. a golf course.
So there's nothing there. It's just a field.
That was insane for me to come into
a movie where you could build like that.
l remember when we were
scouting that other location
l looked at you and l said.
"l don't care how good this place is.
Yes. l do.
That was a cool place. though.
- l can't believe we could recreate that.
- l know.
that these walls are not real.
None of this stuff.
and that's not gonna get eveyone sick.
- That was...
- That was a lot of safety stuff.
Even if you've worked on a lot of movies.
you don't realise that
how the little things are
where we really can get hurt.
So l know you love these tubes.
and l'm glad it paid off.
the science of it.
and then the safety of it on top of it.
l love that that's...
before he becomes Cobra
with the silver mask.
God. l don't know. l mean. come on.
there's like 45 versions
Not even the visor. The visor.
there's got to be 100. l don't know.
iust the way it has a little brow furrow.
l think it's funny. 'cause you and l had
so many debates about both
And Jon having grown up with the Joe...
so was determined to keep Cobra cool.
This whole section here
was so interesting.
And then Destro. Ieaving him behind.
'cause if you don't know the first movie.
you come into this movie.
The fact that we even brought him up.
we really wanted to do that for the fans.
because there's
a lot of people out there who did.
This is literally probably
our fourth shot of the whole movie.
Yeah. we chose the easy stuff first.
And that gear is not easy.
"How much gear would they keep on
at this point?
"Would they even be sweating?
There were so many debates
of all those things.
Yeah. no. l know.
That's one of the great things.
is a guy named Hary Humphries.
And you have real service men now
who can tell you
That's exactly what they would wear.
l'm sure there's
a few Hollood cut corners.
What would they keep.
and what would they abandon.
this is what soldiers would actually do.
which is nice.
lt's both safe
for an actor to have on underwater.
We're always gonna miss
this motorcycle. though.
- l think it was in the script.
- Yeah. it was.
that the studio
just could not get their head around.
And we were like.
"We don't know. but it's cool."
And it was weirdly a huge
argument point that became this thing.
And evey time l see it. l go.
"God. that three-wheel was cool."
But iust to make a motorcycle
that has the Cobra symbol on it.
l love that idea you had about
- The charge bar.
- Yeah. the charge bar.
lnterestingly enough. l think Firefly.
and didn't have in the script.
There was iust something about the way
they rendered him.
and then his opening lines with Cobra.
Ray really embodied
a great version of that character. too.
And at first l was a little bit like.
"lt'll be interesting to
see how this develops."
about how Firefly saw things exploding
as creation. not destruction.
and that redistributing energy was art.
And so we went with it.
This sequence is amazing. because
right from the beginning right here
"he's gonna pull him upside down.
which is already an odd thing.
And suddenly he's right side up.
And what's great about having him
as Storm Shadow.
But he's also
this incredible physical specimen.
And there was a huge difference
between making the first movie with him
he was iust beginning to learn English.
They didn't iust come
from a natural place.
was iust sort of in the vey first scene.
when you were shooting him. l was like.
And because he owned the language.
you know?
and not the least of which
Iook how built he is.
His dedication to learning English
really helped us.
Bringing the rage into Storm Shadow.
He wanted a little more craziness.
which was nice to have.
That sense of betrayal is like.
- You'd get increasingly crazy about it.
- Yeah.
That road is literally... We created it.
And then do this rig where he iumps
off of the ramp.
You cannot do a big...
You have to be going eremely fast.
Which was scripted. actually.
Those explosions are real.
We don't CG those explosions.
Which l think was a big aesthetic
change we wanted to do in this movie
power of the explosions. the debris.
the water. all sorts of environments.
That this was happening in real life.
We had switched actors
playing this character.
and yet this moment.
on a physical level.
Luke Bracey.
who plays Cobra Commander.
You can see his stature.
the way he walks.
which is really. really cool.
And the voice. Robert Baker.
who does the voice.
We got to add this sort of hissing.
breathing thing.
and he's always eending his S's.
So we went with more of this
breathing mechanism. it had this rattle.
and what he's saying.
So you'll hear it throughout the movie
Yeah. l think also.
the trick was also not to be Darth Vader.
That was always the hardest thing.
Gets you there first.
- lt took up a big area of that space.
- Yup.
And his iacket. His iacket is so insane.
lt's like bedazzled...
And that scar on his head.
that was an idea that Ray brought.
And the idea of it was it was
an explosion gone bad. right?
lt did. it gave the character...
We immediately saw it.
This was a big debate.
lt's pretty bad-looking.
You gotta get him to the healer.
And. of course. Snake Eyes' vision
through there was really fun.
All the reticules became
really fun to design.
l think one of the amazing things.
actually. about that conversion was.
both Jon and l had gone through
experiences with 3-D.
we were so. so focused on.
"How do we do this the right way?"
in terms of how you saw it.
in terms of how Steve Windon
shot the movie.
So the conversion process. l think.
had less pressure on it.
This is a gigantic space
we're shooting in.
l think one of the real triumphs for us.
l know l feel that way. is that
The 3-D is incredibly appreciated.
Yup.
was when Paramount called us
and said.
lt was. "Whoa! Really? Why?
That's all the things you go through
in your head right away.
"we actually think
there's bigger upside if we go to 3-D."
after having the moment
of emotional recovey of.
Now we're like. "Okay. stop."
You know. when a studio wants to
spend more money on a movie.
And as it's turned out.
it was a great move.
l think if we didn't have those moments.
it wouldn't have been a choice for us.
But because there's
just so many moments...
where we're pushing
through the satellite.
And stuff like this in 3-D
is beautiful and gorgeous.
All these things.
the language is already in there.
Elodie Yung is amazing.
Yeah. Well. the hardest thing. l think.
when you make.
is the audience is vey tough
on female action characters.
And Elodie in Distr9ct 13: Ultimatum,
wasn't that what it was called?
she's got the grace
of being a beautiful woman.
and then this ferocity in her
is really crazy good.
She really brought it to life. the feeling
of wanting to be part of something.
l mean. she learnt those swords
from the ground up.
l mean. evey time you see an actor
actually learn it and do it.
lt's more believable.
There's an organic nature to it.
But we knew his love of kung fu
and the lore of it.
he was iust for us sort of a special treat.
iust mess with your expectations
of these characters.
But going from there to here.
to the streets of Washington. D.C..
lt's really fun.
is both incredibly liberating.
and. actually. really. really dangerous.
and keep it moving in
the same direction. you know?
Miley Cyrus and Ryan Seacrest.
that's such a fine line.
And l think it was actually important
that it does fit into our world.
lt's also one of those things
where you go to that first preview.
if they don't laugh at that
it's coming out of the movie.
l always wanted a scene here
where at the end of the movie.
and it's iust destroyed.
'Cause the reality is they get a car
from him and they just destroy it.
He iust came in.
he riffed a lot of the stuff.
And it's all gotta establish.
really. Roadblock's backstoy
Why this place would these guys
choose to hide?
That one line.
"Home is where the help is." That's it.
That he's coming back to his origins
to build up again.
no tons of weapons.
just back to where he started.
make up the stuff that they figure out
all the DNA things from later.
you could see that
Roadblock grew up in this place.
l love those little trophies back there.
- lt's such a sort of sports feeling.
- Yeah.
in those frames. which is cool.
Yup. yup.
That thing's so fun to iump in.
and this tension that exists
between Flint and Roadblock of.
"l got my own set of..."
And he's really on program.
but at the same time.
You know. he can't sort of help it.
especially from the new guy Flint.
'cause he's not there yet.
and that they can debate that.
We don't get fully into it.
but we get to play just a little bit.
what would convince somebody
that a guy was an imposter.
'Cause people do cross their thumbs.
as you'll see him shortly.
and they always do that move
Yeah. and if you ty it.
you feel like one way feels natural.
Even if you do it both ways.
one of them feels more natural.
You forget how simple it is.
to create the Ul for a computer system
in any scene.
Like. "How high-tech do they have it?
What era we are in.
And going through even iust the sound.
iust because we wanted to give them
a little edge to it.
Things that you'd never think...
This was a tricky moment. you know?
that these guys can
Ieap to this conclusion?
lt's actually set up in the desert.
"l voted for him" you know.
so how long can you actually draw it out
before you're like. "Come on. guys."
the introduction of his character.
is a really interesting thing.
at first blush. the idea that he's
gonna call her by her wrong name.
You know. that was really Bruce's idea.
that was not a scripted idea.
and even this. sort of.
Girl Scout reference here
And it's one of the things. l think.
you realise why they're movie stars.
and they know what they do well. too.
"Shut your mouth. Brenda" is so rough.
"How are women
gonna feel about this?"
And l remember Adrianne.
lt started at the dinner. yeah.
But it was funny. because
it started to get under her nerves.
l think l got it about halfway
out of my mouth.
lt only works for Bruce.
Bruce even brought this up. he's like.
"At some point she needs to punch me."
'Cause it would've happened at the end.
when they're attacking the President.
But l always... You do. You want her
to punch him at some point.
with what could be
a vey unsympathetic thing
Yes. That's the power of Bruce.
that Jon and l talked a lot
about this character. Joe Colton.
is the embodiment of the original
G.l. Joe ethos. if you would.
And that's the Joe l grew up with.
Single character. not a fantasy.
not all that stuff. the guy.
it was actually one of
the easiest pitches l've ever had.
And l turned to him.
and l called him up and said.
He goes. "l get to play the original Joe?
"Putting firecrackers on my Joe.
and throwing him off the roof."
And so it was this kind of funny moment.
is now in this movie.
we succeeded in the first movie
of doing.
that we could bring that to this table.
Which is pretty awesome.
'cause it has...
So when they're all in the same room.
it's the only person...
Roadblock in the face. and say.
"You don't need a tank. and a laser...
Laser guns to be a soldier.
And l thought that was
the important part for our team.
'Cause l remember
Iooking at the crew members
"We're professionals doing our iobs.
Yes.
Yes. there were.
That was a vey popular day.
There might have been.
She'll give it right back at you.
She's like. "l need to
get punched in this scene."
And she's like. "Jon. l have to be
as tough as eveyone else.
And it made complete sense.
So we never treated her differently
in all this stuff.
which also conveys
that sense of toughness.
And. actually. it's one of the tricks
l think that...
how you cary yourself
conveys a lot about your physicality.
We shot this in the...
Whistler area.
l think it's probably our most highly
complimented sequence in the movie.
they were fans of the comic book.
l think it was originally
two and a half pages.
Something like that.
So you won't hear
any conversation. anything.
And we kept saying to ourselves.
"Are we gonna get away with that?
We kept feeling like.
"There's always the out"
We can always have him
say something.
l know you were a huge fan
of the comic book.
Yeah. And Issue 21 that Lary Hama did
that had no dialogue in it
Before that it was like.
"lt's just to sell toys."
And that's what we really wanted
to capture in the movie. too.
and more of the comic book feel to it.
At least some of the reality of it.
the teure.
l always thought this was
one of the coolest moments.
There's Cobra symbols
carved into the ninja stars.
No music. l remember
we used to have big music here.
- lt was cool to hear the silence.
- Yeah.
We iust tried it to hear and we were like.
Just the fact that Snake Eyes iust
punches through a column is awesome.
Thank God Byung-Hun and Ray
are such great athletes.
So that's the mother
of one of our stunt guys.
And so she'd never been in a movie.
l was iust drawn into her.
'cause she was so tough.
And so called her up.
said if she'd ever come down.
all those things are really her.
She'd never done a movie with her son.
Travis Wong is the stunt guy.
and he's one of the Red Ninjas.
And l loved that Jinx has that
sort of Bruce Lee ninja outfit on.
You can see it. even iust
passing out here he's so intense.
lt was scaring me
when we were shooting.
But he iust gives it all. sells it.
was again a Reese and Wernick idea
that then we had to figure out.
This was such a huge team effort
to our pre-viz guys. to our stunt guys.
to George. who did our second unit...
lt was amazing.
eveyone came together for this one.
l don't know. how many months
went into this planning?
And this sequence wouldn't work
without Paul.
How you would pendulum something.
And being a stuntman. a rigger.
a world-class climber.
A lot of this sequence. you know...
That he had to rig up.
which is really cool.
- A thousand feet?
- Yeah.
And. Paul. from the vey beginning...
he came to my office and we worked out
We got out our ninia action figures
from Hasbro and started planning it out.
"so it doesn't feel
like we're in a video game."
You know that
this could actually happen.
And for me.
l'd used him in a lot of movies.
l knew we were in good hands
to be able to execute it.
l always loved this.
- And l loved the posturing...
- The joust.
The pause right here.
it's such a great idea.
lt was really
one of the most dramatic things.
lt really conveyed a lot of attitude.
And l was like.
when they're hanging on the side.
and they pull out their swords.
it's so cool.
There are real people with real weight.
But these. you feel the weight.
That guy. when he falls off the line
is not real.
- Yes.
- Now it's a real fake rock.
then we had this gigantic green screen
built in our facility
- l don't know. five weeks?
- A lot.
l don't know.
probably in total this thing is
At least. And we did great.
as they're swinging that fast.
or getting things out of focus.
There's some really fun details
that eveybody contributed to.
Jim May and Roger Barton.
who were our editors.
We had to be done with this
while we were shooting
They had to figure it out.
Especially Roger.
When you shoot all these pieces.
how does it all come together.
And so that was really fun to see.
l mean. he's like the unofficial mayor.
maybe it's even official now.
But there's something about
the political veracity of that
There he is.
He's such a great face.
l didn't know how he would...
He was the most welcoming.
he was like.
He was literally like the mayor.
to a city still recovering from Katrina
meant a lot to the city.
was he felt like.
well. he could help us help the city.
That dress was always a winner.
That might have been
the first dress she showed us.
Right when you saw it.
you couldn't deny it.
"Move on. another decision."
- She's a fashion fan.
- Yeah.
'cause then we could say.
"No. you have to have that mask"
And she would put up a fight.
And then you would look at it.
but in the way that it needed to be.
She iust understood. she got it.
lmmediately when l see her
walking through. l think Matrix.
l'm sure that wasn't Louise's intention.
Yes. and then there was no one else
we wanted to put in red.
- Let her stick out.
- Yep.
and they're like dancing. all this stuff.
Who was great. too. she was great.
You really fall in love with certain things.
and then the ne thing you know.
At a certain point
we needed the tension.
- And the pacing.
- Yeah.
- As evey Joe should.
- Of course. of course.
To work with the graphics people
to create how it scans.
l also remember this moment.
in comes something
that's a direct call back to...
But this moment with The Rock
that's about to come up.
about. "Should we see the Firefly.
should we not see the Firefly?"
this character wouldn't react
the way he reacts.
We had a long debate about this.
remember. Jon?
At one point he was doing it.
He'd gone rogue from the others.
And so there was a lot of debate
"What. strategically.
are they tying to do?"
that the G.l. Joes had to
assassinate the fake President.
So this moment would be
that moment. you're like.
But eventually it became that
you wanted Roadblock to be in control.
You wanted it to be well thought out.
But it's brutal. because the hard thing is
And it was one of the things
we kept saying to ourselves.
"and actually make it believable?"
- Yes.
- And a great actor.
lt was one of those great things
that all came together.
but he was physically so daunting
that we wanted this moment.
and how some of the great action stars
have understood
And that's a tricky thing.
"can you really let a hero like Dwayne
get beaten?"
is that now it's the rematch.
l always imagined that was the
three-wheeled motorcycle going away.
Yeah. that would've been fun.
and we were intrigued by
One which is a sort of ninia stoy.
This is about past histoy that has
nothing to do with Dwayne's character.
This is a totally different stoy
that's going on.
that we're tying to
juggle these stoylines.
But when you have someone
like Byung-Hun Lee here.
it doesn't matter where you are.
what you're doing.
And you get into him. and you feel that
it's a guy struggling with
- you're immediately back in this.
- Yeah.
helped a lot with going back and forth.
Especially falling off cliffs.
Why not? Why not?
lt's actually something
we didn't talk about.
So she's really. in her life. has had to
of being the cousin of a traitor
in their minds.
The Blind Master's friend was killed.
And eveybody's got some grudge
in this scene.
l don't know if you knew this.
but we were literally...
they had casted. not little people.
but really small ninjas.
"We've gotta find bigger.
more warrior-like ninjas."
"Are you guys crazy
how big you've made this thing?
"Boy. you better make
a good thing out of this set."
l think one of the interesting things
about making movies is.
And so many decisions get made so fast
keep track of all the decisions.
Picking the right people to make the
right decisions is incredibly complex.
l remember iust looking at
the production designer. Andrew.
"You built this big...
How much does this set cost?"
"We're gonna need money
for the tank battle.
"Well. Jon loves the big ninias scene."
- We need all of it.
- Right.
- The TV became the most...
- Right.
this moment that dad does not take.
and that her motivation is
to get him to salute to her.
There's a lot of hostility
and anger in that. you know.
- Yeah.
- That he salutes her at the end.
To me. it makes their relationship
make all the sense in the world.
and l guess we'll get there.
we'll talk about it.
When he said. "l knew your dad"
you were like. "Whoa."
- He didn't even have to go there.
- Didn't have to do anything. He got it.
This was a matter of saving some time.
before it was getting boring.
and said what if you are the President
and look right at the camera.
We'd done a little bit of that
with the Cobra vision.
So we tried to find
fun ways to make it interesting.
l always loved Jonathan's look
on his face.
And the reflection in Cobra's mask
is hard.
That should be the camera.
So whenever you see his mask
you won't see the camera.
We had a lot of debate
about this briefcase. remember?
l remember looking at it going.
"What is this? What is this leather?"
But we were like. "That's what
a real nuclear football looks like."
- lt's true.
- And we started tearing stuff off of it.
- what's the right look for the football.
- Yeah.
and yet instantaneously recognisable
for the audience?
lf you don't understand.
you haven't seen an action movie
This was hard.
because it was really dark.
You wanted this rawness to it.
Always got a big laugh. that moment.
Yeah. l think it was when they added
the sound effect of the gun.
'Cause you don't necessarily
Iook down there.
He had a ton of things
that he kept saying that were hilarious.
And this was always hard to...
At what point...
they have mutual interest
in this one battle.
l remember the arguments...
Not the arguments. but. really. like.
- Really quickly.
- So that's all in peormance.
Now we enter this scene.
l remember we were in New Orleans
right before you make a movie.
And l turned to the writers and l said.
'Cause l knew whatever it was.
it couldn't be too expensive. Right?
And they literally wrote in the script.
they put.
And then our editor.
when he got the dailies.
He read it and he was like.
"Okay. what song do they mean?"
to find the most obscure song
that they think we mean.
l remember when l walked in
and l saw...
And l looked at you like. "You guys
actually used The Four Horsemen."
You should've seen my face
when l walked in.
But it was so funny
that we had to show you.
l don't know. self-conscious.
or tying to be cool.
- "We're tying to have fun."
- Yes.
'cause it's almost so obscure
that you're like.
And it's probably Joe Colton.
AIthough, Rockin' Is Ma' Business
cause business is good.
- Nice.
- We tried it.
- l think we tried it.
That was actually
And we would sometimes
bring a boom box out with us.
That's how l got turned on to them.
that l couldn't believe
l was doing a G.l. Joe movie.
Byung-Hun Lee. Ray Park. Adrianne.
D.J.. all these guys...
Elodie. these characters around a table.
it was just insane.
'Cause we've seen
a lot of these scenes.
And each of them
to have something to do.
Each one. like. "What's that character?
Yeah. yeah.
l never understood why nobody laughed
when he said "Rock solid."
Yes.
Don't know if we're actually making
a reference to The Rock or not.
l always loved this moment. too.
l remember. l think that was your...
l don't know whose idea it was.
- And he's like. "Nope."
- "Not gonna help you there."
But it also throws her as a character
or slightly. at least at a minimum. edgy.
has suddenly...
The tanks and the fan boat.
rebuilt it to make it a Cobra boat.
because it weighed too much.
remember?
No. it sank.
So we tied the car that our crane was on
to pull it out.
So we have to cut the cord.
and to let it sink.
- lt knocked over our car.
- Yeah.
But those H.l.S.S. Tanks
are really about your passion.
And so l'm like.
"H.l.S.S. Tanks? Why is that so cool?"
"All right. l get it.
They turn into a Cobra."
So then we turned it into a tank battle.
And to actually have a tank live there
that was 30. 20 feet high.
lt was crazy. We got a tank somewhere.
l don't know where we got a tank from.
and built it in the H.l.S.S. Tank way.
and you could fire it in the warehouse.
This sequence was actually
originally scripted
And we didn't have the money to do it.
that even remotely looked like it
in New Orleans
lt's actually one of the things
that was so hard.
And we came up with this idea
of Fort Sumter being a symbol of war.
when the guy's gonna
talk about disarmament.
"we can actually do this ending
here in New Orleans"
gave us enough sense of grounding
and sense of purpose about it
l think l'll always miss the UN a little bit.
a sort of Dr. Strangeloye-esque
feel to it.
so they could use them
throughout the battle.
be in histoy and have. you know.
or shadows of the soldiers
from past wars above these guys.
Yes. Hary Humphries.
who was our militay advisor
He was part of the Joe Colton
old-guy crew.
Old-school. l'm an old guy.
l can say that.
l guess we iust put a sticker on that
thing. if it's from a different county.
l think it's almost the biggest laugh
in the whole movie.
l'm gonna put ngy Birds
in evey one of my movies.
This was always
a controversial and crazy idea.
l remember when the studio first read it.
and Hasbro.
"You're gonna launch
evey nuclear weapon in the world?"
"This is cool. this is diabolically insane.
twisted logic.
l remember
when l read it for the first time
l was like. "What?
How do you get out of this one?"
lt was one of those ones. where
when you first read it. you were like.
We have so much cool footage
we couldn't put in.
- Especially of Elodie. l always miss that.
- Yeah.
And this ioke we used. l don't know.
how many times in marketing.
l had no idea
it was gonna work like that.
His peormance. her peormance
together are amazing.
He's like. "You gotta use my car.
it's awesome."
To have Joe Colton do that car.
the El Camino.
- lt was so much fun watching him do it.
- Yes.
is how do you cast a President
that's credible as a President?
So it's vey difficult. it's tricky.
So when you ty to cast
the President of the United States.
And Jonathan gave it
such a level of credibility and gravity.
that he held in that thing. you know?
lt used to be seeing iust dots go along.
But it really didn't.
when we came down to it.
And this is. again.
one of these things where.
'cause they're nuts. And he's nuts.
Yeah.
was those threats started
right about when we were releasing.
That's serious stuff.
"Okay. which city are we
going to blow up?"
gone through evey single thing.
And so. l think we all sat down.
we were like. "Let's do London.
lt's one of the most incredible shots
ILM did. though.
An amazing company.
but that shot is just something else.
you could pause that on any frame
and you can see how detailed...
Yeah. it's crazy.
and iust stare at that box
for the whole shot
So it was intense.
lt was interesting. it was definitely
a struggle for us. is that.
the handing off of leadership.
when you're establishing the movie.
And it took a lot of massaging
for us to figure that out.
Look at this shot. it's crazy.
Those buildings... l iust went to London
to premiere our movie there.
"l know what we did with this window."
It was pretty cool.
l love these shots. It's iust so fun to see.
We had actually more shots of them
taking over the Capitol.
The Supreme Court Justice.
rounding them up.
- ln one shot. it said eveything.
- Yeah.
We were like.
how fast should they fall. and...
- Who's releasing them?
- Who's releasing them? Yeah.
- l remember that debate.
- Yeah.
lt's one of the things
that's so interesting in filmmaking is.
that can tell a lot of stoy
in a really short period of time?
the rounding up
the Supreme Court Justices.
"l got it. This is bad."
- This thing. the Ripsaw tank.
- Ripsaw. yeah.
Of course Dwayne has to have it battling
these three giant H.l.S.S. Tanks.
lt drives through houses.
So it's fun to play around with that thing.
lt was fun to stage that.
and it was complicated to do that.
'cause we had this real thing.
Those are real H.l.S.S. Tanks to a point.
you have to create some of it.
- l love that one.
- Love that...
l think that was your idea.
And even the sound. having it go out.
But. again. that's another one of those
combo things. from our stunt guys.
to DD. who did the tanks.
all those things.
Yes.
Who would've thought?
l always loved them.
The yin and the yang
coming together in a swirl.
lt says eveything about who they are.
"Nope. l'm on your team."
Steve Windon. who is our DP.
That's what l love about Steve Windon.
but also iconic moments.
in the most comic book character way.
Yeah. l think it's one of the hardest
things to do in these big movies.
How do you keep that 5'10".
6-foot creature called humans
Both of us. when we saw fast fiye,
The dynamism of it. and yet
you never lost sense of the characters.
And when we were
debating about which DP.
that you and l both gravitated towards.
Yeah.
the fight with the President
and the Red Ninja.
But it iust became a distraction from
getting the actual suitcase throughout.
l love seeing Bruce fight here.
That was a big moment.
Bruce Willis walking on the set. huh?
l was nervous. but he was great.
and you look at the monitor. l forgot that
it was a movie that l was making.
lt's funny. 'cause when you're
working on these stunt action beats.
That's Steve Ritzi. actually.
our stunt coordinator.
And sometimes it comes from him.
sometimes it comes from Jon.
lt comes from all different people.
lt was such an interestingly
choreographed...
to distract the audience.
l remember
when Ritzi first pitched it to us.
That's kind of cool.
nobody's seen that in so long.
"What way have you
never entered a scene before?"
'Cause he could say.
"l did that. l did that. l did this."
'cause he knew evey single one.
l remember him
pointing to his shoulder.
or something crazy.
And. again. Byung-Hun Lee
giving a great peormance here.
But you feel for a ninia. which is cool.
l remember this debate.
Remember this debate?
- But it's so cool.
- lt's pretty awesome.
And l think that was something that...
It was actually...
He was like.
"What if we just cut it in half?"
Again. it's so hard to tell if you're going
over the top or not with a movie like this.
as we were sort of going
and seeing cuts put together.
but you have to ground it.
all at the same time.
l'm so glad that came into the movie.
That was gone for a while.
And that helicopter... Oh. my gosh.
That thing is awesome.
Does that mean Cobra's
in the ne movie?
You never know. You never know.
Maybe Duke'll be alive.
This whole fort was really crazy.
With crocodiles in the moats
that we had to be careful of.
And this moment. l love it.
to finally get onto the tank
and just fire that gun.
- and misses the other guy.
- Misses the other guy.
- He'll get it.
- Exactly.
how many times were we like.
We had to find vey strategic places
that never bumped you
One of the good things about working
with Dwayne. he's so up for anything.
He's always prepared. totally on it.
So we had to like do a lot of tricks
to make it look fast.
then we built them. and we were like.
"These move really slowly.
- You remember that?
- Yeah.
l remember thinking
how cool fan boats were
l always wanted to do a fan boat
from that.
l can't remember.
Yeah. this is the big showdown.
Again. to me it was like
always eended brass knuckles.
We went back and forth with.
"How realistic is this?"
but that they're actually attacking.
So it didn't seem like...
ThanMully.
Ray and Dwayne are so game.
Look at how hardcore they're going at it.
l was always like. "l don't know. man.
how many bullets can go off here?"
Yeah. we did at one point.
But l love at the end here.
he's out of bullets.
Sees that suitcase.
Again. it was so hot here.
the flies were out.
because you iust see these bugs
flying evehere. It was so disgusting.
lt was pretty disgusting.
and how were we gonna make sure
the audience is gonna react.
l think we had so many characters.
it was always a puzzle
But this moment here...
Actually. this was a Ritzi moment. too.
"He should iust walk away
and press the button.
lt's one of those classic moments.
lt's funny when you re-watch this scene.
And we were talking about it.
then you go back and look at it
- That one we always really relished.
- Yes.
Sometimes those moments are tricky.
the balance.
l always love
how uncompromising it is here
You know. it's not the way
you normally play in a movie like this.
- He is so not over his grudge.
- Yeah.
That has to keep going.
Plus. there's room to milk it.
G.l. Joes.
l love these kids.
Yeah. l think that there was
a moment of attaching that.
the head of the studio.
who had this idea of.
lt's good to see the President.
Here we are supposedly
at the edge of Arlington National.
- Again.
- Again.
Yeah. and the Washington Monument
back there.
lt's funny. even in the script
it made you get tears in your eyes.
- He iust...
- He killed it.
And you iust feel that.
he really understood this dynamic
in a way that we couldn't understand it.
Even at the moment.
l didn't quite get that.
and see what he's doing
underneath it all.
They're all Joes now.
l always thought this was fun. too.
Two generations of stars.
The respect they have for each other
is huge.
to see them together again
would be amazing.
Boom.
with this way of iust reminding us
of the adventure.
And How You Like Me Now?,
it's just that song is just peect for it.
We never mentioned Hasbro either.
What's great about working with them is
And they were always constantly
coming to us with new ideas about.
That whole part of the sequence
we had to cut out.
That was crazy.
Yeah. go. Jinx.
And Heny did a great iob
doing the music.
and things that he found really well.
- Love that move.
- Yeah.
That's a great character introduction.
l gotta say.
She's really such a delight
to work with. too.
and evey single person
brought their own thing.
lt iust felt like
you could attach yourself to any of them
l could hang out with all those
guys and girls at a bar and be cool.
You want somebody
for each person to relate to. you know?
simply because they're
more possible for who you are.
- Way to go. buddy. Way to go.
- Good job to you. too.
- That's an awesome logo right there.
- Designed by Steven Soderbergh.
- ls that true? Wow.
- Yeah.
l had a clause in my contract that
And he's like.
"l don't like logos on my movie."
He goes.
"Because l don't like the logos."
And there was this long silence.
and he goes. "Are you serious?"
- And that's the logo.
- Nice. nice.
and he goes.
"l guess you really did like it. huh?"
- He didn't see it in 3-D.
- That's what he's gotta see.
The movie is still in theatres.