Over at Latino Review they’ve got a story up about G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra director Stephen Sommers being locked out of the editing room and fired from the film. This story is based on an internet message board post at producer Don Murphy’s website claiming to be from an “insider” who talks about how bad the film was testing with audiences and that in an attempt to save the film, Sommers was fired and a new “fixer” editor was brought on board.
Latino Review has also updated the story recently with an interview with the film’s producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who denies everything and says of the story: “It’s very unfair to Steve, it’s completely untrue he was never asked to leave or been fired or any of that. That’s ridiculous. The movie tested very well.” He goes on to say that: “Everybody was happy, the studio was happy, the filmmakers were happy, the audience was happy with the movie. We had three test screenings, three different times and tested it and each time it just got better and better. We started off in a good place and we ended up in even in a better place, which is what you hope on a film from testing it.”
Whatever your personal feelings about the upcoming film, its easy to understand why the producer of it would want to immediately squash any and all rumors about a troubled production. However, and this is something people probably don’t realize, especially if they’ve never worked on a film before, most productions have problems. You can’t have that much money and that many people working together on that kind of schedule with so many balls in the air and not have problems. It’s just the nature of filmmaking. So, he may not just be trying to save face.
Although, test screenings and their results are usually an internal matter and not info studios like to have circulating, especially if the news is not so good. So sadly, if this info is actually true, this may indeed be a case of damage control and the film may be as bad as people seem to think it is. That said, I’m actually looking forward to the movie.
I had all the G.I. Joe stuff as a kid and seeing it all on the big screen will hopefully be a real treat. Of course, as with most movies coming out of Hollywood these days, it could also be a loud, explosive mess emphasizing style over substance and not be good at all. You pay your money, you take your chances. Either way, we’ll find out when the film hit theaters on August 7th.
UPDATE: Today in Variety, the trade has a story which completely refutes the entire thing and says Sommers was never fired or anything like it. So, there you go. Just another day in Hollywood.