Sometimes Vincent and I (Chris) talk with each other about which actors would work well in a live-action film. So we decided we’d each “draft” five actors to form a team of Joes and Cobras and let you all decide who did it best.
The Rules: We can use any living actor. We can’t use any actors OR characters that have already appeared in the live action G.I. Joe films. The Rock as Roadblock was fantastic. We have to come up with more like that. A coin flip decides who gets to choose GI Joe or Cobra and the other person gets to go first. For a bonus challenge, the Cobra side has to cast Crystal Ball, the evil hypnotist, and the Joe side has to cast Scoop, the heroic journalist.
Let’s flip that coin and get started!
Chris won the coin toss and chose the Joes. Vincent gets Cobra and he gets to draft first. It will then alternate.
Vincent: Zartan is basically gone in the G.I. Joe movie universe but his sister, Zarana, basically has his same deal of disguise and espionage but with the added ability of being a hot chick. So I will cast Olivia Wilde who I’ve lusted after ever since Tron: Uprising in the role, and insist that she has a team of Dreadnoks with her.
Chris: I respect the hell out of your first draft choice, Vincent. For my choice, I want to cast one of my favorite Joes, Stalker. Stalker was an original Joe and was sort of the go-to expert for all small arms. He was also fluent in a bunch of languages and in the comics had a tight history with Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. I want to use Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, a former UFC champion who did a good job in the B.A. Baracus role in the A-Team movie. Hell, if Stalker is already cast, let Rampage play himself ala Sgt. Slaughter!
Vincent: I’m going to stick with my swamp-themed bad guys and go for Sylvester Stallone as Copperhead. Copperhead piloted one of my favorite vehicles, the Cobra Water Moccasin. His backstory is that he raced speedboats in Monaco and Japan but got into serious gambling debt and had to sell his services to Cobra. That kind of slight grey area sounds good for later-era Stallone.
Chris: I’m sticking with new dudes. One up and coming guy in martial arts is Iko Uwais, probably best known from The Raid. I’m not sure how good his English is, so I’ll play it safe and put him in as Beachhead. Beachhead is one of the ultimate badasses of GI Joe and his balaclava makes him look the part. Put a great martial artist in there and if you need to, dub him. Hell, use William Callaway from the 80s cartoon!
Vincent: OK, if we’re thinking outside the box, I think I can top that. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Cobra B.A.T. The B.A.T.s are Battle Android Troopers, designed by Dr. Mindbender in the movies. But they’ve used Mindbender so maybe in the films, Schwarzenegger is some other mad scientist that models them on himself. If he can get himself in shape to play the Terminator again, like he’s planning to do, he can be in shape to play a B.A.T.!
Chris: You’re out of your mind. Anyway, the G.I. Joe movies have used up all four of their main female roles, but if we turn to the comics, there’s a new character called Chameleon who is an undercover spy in the Cobra organization. That lends itself to some good story that we haven’t too much of and if you have Zarana, I will counter that with the good guy version. Gina Carano is a legit MMA fighter with 12 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw to her professional record. Plus she’s been in action movies like Fast and Furious 6 and Haywire by Steven Soderbergh. That’s enough clout to get you in a G.I. Joe movie in my book.
Vincent: One of the coolest Cobras is actually a pair of Cobras. Tomax and Xamot are acrobatic twins who also manage a massive global business. That kind of funding could be a good plot point for the next movie and is kind of relevant today. But who cares about that? They have their own Crimson Guard army and finish each other’s sentences! I see them as being formidable but also a little funny so I’m going to cast Chris Pratt. Pratt is probably best known as Andy on Parks and Rec, but he has gotten himself ridiculously ripped for movies like Zero Dark Thirty and Guardians of the Galaxy, so I could see him handling the action portion.
Chris: OK, if you’re talking humor, I’m going to get Scoop out of the way. He’s not a great character. Why would G.I. Joe need an embedded journalist? These guys are doing covert ops, not really the kind of thing they need recorded. But whatever, if I have to use Scoop, I’m gonna go with someone I know we both find funny, Matt Besser. Matt is the king of improv, and you should all listen to his podcast, improv4humans. He’d be entertaining enough to distract from the dumb job he’d be saddled with.
Vincent: I will, in turn, cast Crystal Ball. But here’s where I put you away Chris. Crystal Ball is known for 2 things: being a hypnotist for Cobra and having a great mustache. So I’m going to cast the baddest mustachioed man alive, Danny Trejo. I see the movie Crystal Ball as more of a guy that brainwashes people through torture. Boom!
Chris: That’s an impressive pull, I admit. But I think I can balance the scales with my last draft. I’m going to cast one of the most popular G.I. Joes that somehow hasn’t been in the films yet, Shipwreck. And I’m going to cast a man that’s action movie Viagra, Jason Statham. I know that G.I. Joe is AMERICA’S fighting force and Statham is British, but you know who has a tough navy? The Brits. So I see this guy as being on some sort of loaner program. The UK is a close ally, and I’m drafting their best.
Vincent: And don’t forget, Cobra basically destroyed London in G.I. Joe Retaliation, so I can see some real motivation for Stathem/Shipwreck to unleash some furious vengeance on Cobra.
VERDICT: Your call. Comment who you’d cast and who you think wins the GI Joe Movie Dream Draft!