Back in 2009, Paramount Pictures and Hasbro rolled out their live-action G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra adaptation, hoping for a repeat of the 2007 live-action Transformers success. Though “Yo Joe!” hasn’t taken off like Michael Bay‘s “More Than Meets the Eye” franchise, the studios made a masterful move by including Dwayne Johnson in their 2013 sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. That inclusion, which came in the midst of Johnson’s meteoric rise in popularity, was likely a big factor in the film’s more than $375 million global box office take.
Unfortunately, building your franchise on the broad shoulders of someone as in-demand as Johnson means that continuing your franchise is now dependent on his schedule. And that schedule is insane. Johnson is tied to a number of other high-profile movie franchises in addition to his television work, so it’s going to be quite some time before G.I. Joe 3 can get going. That fact was confirmed by co-star Byung-hun Lee during a recent chat with LRM (via ScreenRant) during TIFF.
Here’s what Lee had to say about the state of G.I. Joe 3:
“I heard from the studio that there’s a possibility to do the third one, but I think they’re waiting for the actors’ schedules. They’re arranging the schedules for the actors, especially Dwayne Johnson.”
Additionally, Lee and co-star Ray Park have been in contact, talking about what they might like to do on-screen should the third installment get off the ground:
“Him and I always talk about those kinds of ideas and some other projects and what if we do some things. We always talk, but it’s just talk.”
Here’s the problem though: Johnson’s film slate is already nuts and shows little sign of clearing up before 2019. He’ll lend his voice to this year’s animated Disney film Moana (which could conceivably spawn a sequel) and will star in the anticipated 2017 films Fast 8, Baywatch, Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon, and Jumanji. With the exception of the Fast and Journey franchises, for which sequels have already been announced and will likely include Johnson, there’s every possibility that Johnson could also return for a follow-up to Baywatch and Jumanji. As if that all wasn’t enough already, he’s poised to enter Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe as Black Adam, antagonist to Captain Marvel in Shazam! due out in 2019.