Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, What He’d Like to See in G.I. JOE 3, Filming at NASA, JACK RYAN, RED 2, and Much More

     March 29, 2013


Jon M. Chu’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation is now playing in theaters.  The sequel’s story finds the Joes disbanded and outnumbered as they must square off against not only the Cobras, but also threats within their own government.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation stars Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum,  D.J. Cotrona, Elodie YungRay ParkByung-hun Lee, Ray Stevenson, Walton Goggins, RZA and Adrianne Palicki For more on the film, here’s clips, images, on set interviews, and all our previous coverage.

Last weekend, I sat down with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura for an extended interview.  Over the past few days we’ve posted what he said about Jack Ryan and Red 2, an adaptation of the Vince Flynn novel American Assassin and the true story Deepwater Horizon.  But that was just the tip of the iceberg, because we also talked about making G.I. Joe, the nine-minute dialogue-free action sequence featuring Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, the 3D post conversion, changes from the first film, the rumored reshoots, what it was like to film at NASA, how involved Hasbro is with the project, and what he’d like to see in G.I. Joe 3 if they make it.  In addition, we also talked about how the collapsing home video market has changed the way movies are made, the lack of risk-taking with regards to the material that studios are choosing to make, the difficulty of selling sci-fi and the key to landing audience interest, whether he’s read any great scripts recently, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

zero-hour-lorenzo-di-bonaventuraLorenzo di Bonaventura Time Index:

  • :03 Talks about the press junket atmosphere and the response to Retaliation.
  • :41 Where was he when he first heard that Retaliation was being pushed back and converted to 3D? Talks about his reaction to the decision.
  • 2:02 Were the international markets a factor when making the decision to convert the film to 3D? Talks about the appeal of 3D overseas.
  • 2:53 Talks about the rumored reshoots after the film was pushed back. Says they didn’t shoot a frame of film after the decision was made, they just spent a lot of time on the editing.
  • 3:40 The 3D conversion. Talks about making sure they did the 3D conversion right.
  • 4:15 Talks about the things that they improved upon from the first film and the things they carried over to the sequel. Says the president storyline and the addition of ninjas were the two things they wanted to exploit in the sequel.
  • 5:00 Jon’s vision for the film. Talk about bringing a realistic quality to the film’s action sequences.
  • 6:02 The 9-minute dialogue-less sequence. Says the screenwriters pitched the idea when they wrote the script and they went from there.
  • 7:27 Filming at NASA. Talks about being allowed to film at NASA facilities in New Orleans and what the location brought to the film.
  • 9:22 How involved is Hasbro with the film? Says they’re big fans of the properties but they’re not dictatorial.
  • 11:18 Thoughts on G.I. Joe 3. Says they haven’t started developing another sequel yet, but there are some things he’d like to see in the follow-up.
  • jack-ryan-chris-pine-kevin-costner12:40 Red 2 talk. Says he’s very happy with the movie and it’s really fun.
  • 13:35 Talks about Jack Ryan. Says Chris Pine nails the role and it deals with contemporary issues like the previous Jack Ryan films.
  • 15:05 American Assassin. Says they’re trying hard to make it and they’re looking for a lead.
  • 15:46 Talks about Deepwater Horizon, which is about the 2010 oil rig explosion. Says the film is akin to A Perfect Storm and centers on the heroism of the people on the rig.
  • 16:30 The Mission. Says the film resembles Three Kings and Training Day and is different from the films that people are making today.
  • 17:11 Does he read a lot of scripts that blow him away? Says he recently read one that’s way too expensive to make.
  • 18:01 Has producing become more challenging over the past few years? Talks about the effect of the DVD market’s collapse and how studios have a harder time making a profit, which affects how they approach projects.
  • 18:40 Talks about the lack of risk-taking with regards to the material that studios are choosing to make.
  • 19:51 Has he read anything in the sci-fi or comic book genre that he wants to get made? Says he loves sci-fi but it’s the hardest genre to sell to studios.
  • 20:20 Talks about the difficulty of selling sci-fi and the key to landing audience interest.


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