I know, how do you fire someone who’s already finished the film? This is how:
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.
Source: Latino Review (note: we link to you guys all the time!)
Now let’s be honest – I’ve not been too kind to G.I. Joe, but I am looking forward to seeing it. I actually do love Stephen Sommers, and of course G.I. Joe was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid (and the comics are amongst my favorites). That being said, the trailer does inspire a bit of worry in me, as does the MTV movie clip. If the film really is as bad as the above story notes, and even editing doesn’t save the day, I’m going to be really disappointed at the potential franchise ending before it’s even begun.