G.I. Joe.....not American?!
"Our starting point for this movie is not Hollywood and Manhattan but rather mid-America," Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said. "There are a group of people we think are going to respond to the movie who are normally not the first priority. But we're making them a priority."I didn't grow up with the small G.I. Joe action figures; but I did grow up in the era of G.I. Joe "dolls"- the ones with the Kung Fu grip being the most memorable classic. And they were American soldiers.
Yet overseas, where big action films often earn 60% or more of their ticket sales, rah-rah American sentiment doesn't play well. So those references have vanished from the advertising.
European marketing, rather, focuses on action sequences set in Paris -- where the Eiffel Tower collapses -- Egypt and Tokyo, and emphasizes that G.I. Joe is an international team of crack operatives and not some Yankee soldier.
When it comes to selling "G.I. Joe" outside the U.S., the message is "this is not a George Bush movie -- it's an Obama world," director Stephen Sommers said. "Right from the writing stage we said to ourselves, this can't be about beefy guys on steroids who all met each other in the Vietnam War, but an elite organization that's made up of the best of the best from around the world."
In the era of Reagan and Rambo flag-waving,
it was reborn in comic books, a TV cartoon and toys, with the tag line "A Real American Hero," as a special military unit of the U.S. government that does battle with an evil organization known as Cobra
I don't mind having an international team of super-agents or a "United Federation of Planets" for some utopian future earth...but it kind of sticks in my craw to take an American concept and give it a politically-correct makeover. I suppose the dollar speaks louder than patriotic sentimentality.
I'm not a "hard-core fanboy", as I'm a product of the 70's G.I. Joe and not the comics and storylines of the 80's/90's era. Nor do I plan on seeing the movie. Unless they bothered to spend a sizable chunk of the movie's budget on storyline and character development.
"You can never win with those guys," Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, producer of both "Transformers" films and "G.I. Joe," said of the San Diego convention. "They feel they're the keepers of the fanboys flag and have a deep childhood association with many of these properties. And we know the hard-core fans are already coming to see the movie."