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[Movies] John Chu and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura Deny G.I. Joe: Retaliation Reshoots
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 01.25.2013

John Chu and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura recently spoke with IGN about G.I. Joe: Retaliation's release date move from last May to March 29th of this year and more. Check out the highlights:

Di Bonaventura on moving the release date to convert to 3D: "It was shocking at first, not because it's like, 'Oh my God, what a horrible thing." It's just, like, your life, your vacations, your kids, your workflow is all going right towards A. You plan your whole life around that thing. Suddenly, boom. "Okay, great. We're changing the date, huh? Why?' Then they gave the reason, and Jon and I both sort of looked at each other and went, 'Okay, they're going to spend a lot of money to make our movie look better. Let's go. Where are we going?' Some filmmakers -- it probably helps me a bit having been the head of a studio, too, because there's a lot of different reasons why you move a film. There are plenty of examples where it's indicative of a movie that's not good, and there have been plenty of examples where it has nothing to do with that. You've just got to be willing to brace yourself a little bit for the initial outbreak of, 'Oh, it sucks! They didn't believe in it,' whatever that piece is. That's pretty short, though, really in its duration."

Di Bonaventura on the rumored reshoots: "There was a ton of stories that were completely inaccurate, that we shot all this new footage for Channing [Tatum] and all this stuff. We never shot another frame. Trust me, I've been asked over the last few months, and I don't know how it happened. My experience is you can't possibly win against whatever the tidal wave is coming at you. I think for us, it's one of the reasons why I wanted to show you the first round of footage, to go, 'Look, guys. This is what we're doing, so you can decide for yourselves about the quality of it, and you can decide the attitude of it. You can hear from us what we've been doing.' If enough of you start saying, 'Well, wait a second. They didn't have new reshoots and all this stuff.'"

Chu on the rumors that popped up: "I didn't want to answer any of the crazy rumors that were happening at the time, but the reality was the 3D. We were told we wanted to turn it into 3D, and luckily, they were like, "Well, we didn't have the time to do that." It just so happened that March was the date they could do it in, so that gave us enough time to focus in on it. We didn't reshoot anything. This is a spectacle movie. It's a fun movie to experience. The 3D only helps. If it was this big, dramatic, dark movie, I'm not quite sure it would be worth that wait, but this one is. It only lifted our biggest strengths."

Chu on the 3D conversion: "It was more legwork than I expected. To get it right takes not one, three, five, six go-rounds. It takes 12 to 20, literally, watching these scenes over and over again and just making little adjustments here and there, which actually feels a little more framed even when we shot it in 3D, you couldn't adjust some of the things that we can adjust, some of the edges and what we want to clean up. There are scenes that are cut back, and we are actually still in that process of finding those things."

Di Bonaventura on 3D in general: "There's a freshness to (3D) that, for me, knowing the film so well, I see a scene in 3D and I'm like, 'Wow, that's totally different!' It's almost like seeing the film again for the first time. For those people who didn't see it the first time, I think what it does is it gives it a -- 3D is very dynamic. When you get it right, it's visually appealing. ... I'll give you an example of what it did for me. That scene in the hallway became more mythological. There's a sense of, like, when you look down there, it was always that way in 2D; you look down there and there's two guys facing off. But now he's way down there, you know what I mean? There's a thing about it. As the throwing stars come at you, I think that's kind of fun. There's that kind of element that 3D adds, which is so playful and fun."

Di Bonaventura on Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes: "I'll tell you one thing: kids love ninjas. One of the things that we designed during the first movie, one of the big complaints was there was not enough ninjas. It's one of the reasons why there's a major storyline that goes on that's only about ninjas. It's really fun. It's a great sense of fantasy when you go into that world."

Chu on the ninja storyline: "Ninjas are obviously a big part of the movie. What makes it really unique from other franchises is that it has both the military and ninja side. We wanted to make sure we did something really different, something we'd never seen before. And because they have masks on and don't talk anyway, it was just a perfect place, and we could tell the story with their fighting. And that scene [the preview shown with Hansel & Gretel] is a cut-up version. When you the see the sequence altogether, it's really fun. In fact, the fight between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes has no music. Here, we have a little bit just to help connect it to the other scenes that are coming, but not the actual scene. We had a score for it a long time ago, and one day we just played it with the sound effects guys without the music, just to hear the effects. It was so awesome, we're like, 'We need to have their whole fight without music.' We brought it in and tried it, and new people would freak out a little bit, but it was so awesome that you can't deny it's fun to watch without it."

Chu on what he wanted to accomplish: "I always tried to remind myself of the things I always wanted in a G.I. Joe movie. You want the ninjas right up against the military guys. You want that humor. You want the camaraderie. You want to know that each one is different, that they're not just a group fighting one thing. They all have personality. Even if it doesn't really make sense, that it's just fun and you just go for it."


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