G.I. Who?

By Phil Plait | February 12, 2008 11:00 pm

This is only tangentially related to Doctor Who, but Christopher Eccleston, who played the Doctor for the first season of the revival, will be in a movie about… G.I. Joe. It’s difficult to overestimate the amount of suck this movie will contain, but having Eccleston in it will mitigate that somewhat. He’s a terrific actor. His appearance on "Heroes" was cool, though he was totally wasted in "The Seeker", which was awful.

Still, there’s not much chance I’ll go see it. And I had a G.I. Joe when I was a kid. Maybe if they can get Billie Piper to be in it too…


Comments (27)

  1. Davidlpf

    Wonder what the Schwarzschild radius on that movie will be like.

  2. tacitus

    My local PBS station is showing the Eccleston Doctor Who season at the moment. As someone from a planet with a North myself, I think he was rather good at being the Doctor, and we all owe him and Piper a debt of gratitude for helping to get the new series off to such a successful start. David Tennant is a fine actor too, so I can’t complain too much (just the l squeaky voice he occasionally slips into) but it’s a shame Eccleston didn’t buy into the part enough to want to continue for more than a season.

    Oh, and don’t miss Elizabeth Sladen in The Sarah Jane Adventures when they come to SciFi later this year. It’s surprisingly good, and many parents will enjoy it as much as their kids. (Not to mention that it’s about a million percent better than that Flash Gordon dren they’ve been churning out on Fridays, no exaggeration.)

  3. Ron

    Eccleston is a superb actor. I hope we get to see more of him (in good stuff, not GI Joe) on this side of the Pond.

    If you want to see an excellent movie, rent “The Second Coming”. It’s a British film from 2003. It stars Christopher Eccleston as the son of God. You can rent it from Netflix, GreenCine, and probably elsewhere, or you can buy it online. I hate to be so crass as to plug my own site, but I reviewed the movie a couple of weeks ago:


  4. John Ellis

    You might like to watch Eccleston in ‘The Second Coming’ which was also written by the Dr Who writer Russell T Davies. Jesus were lad from’t North n’all, an’t show were a right cracker.


  5. Michelle

    You know ,that kind of haircut only brings lots of attention on his humongous ears. Seriously, it’s the first thing I noticed on the picture. HUGE EARS!


    GI Joe movie will probably be an awesome entertainment of cheese. Like the Speed Racer movie

  6. Yoshi_3up

    Another funny title.

    I agree with you, the appearance on “The seeker” sucked.

  7. J. D. Mack

    I didn’t have a G.I. Joe when I was a kid, but my best friend had a couple. Did we re-enact battles? Kill bad guys? No, I convinced my friend to play “Vacation G.I. Joe,” and we each staked out a section of his mother’s garden as our desert island. I will not deny that I was an odd kid.

    J. D.

  8. Rob Johnson

    If you like Eccleston, and I do too–he’s brilliant, check out Cracker on DVD. It’s an AWESOME dark psychological/crime series from England with Robbie Coltrane (another great one!)

    seriously…you’d be doing yourselves a favor–this show is incredible!!!!

  9. K

    When I spoke to “Darth Maul,” at a con a couple of weeks ago, he said he’ll be playing, “Snake Eyes.”

  10. Gnat

    I would watch Eccleston read the phone book…and having had a GI Joe doll (by steeling my brother’s) and being an avid fan of the cartoon, I’m actually looking forward to the movie. Of course, I love cheese and was well aware of the cheesiness of the cartoon (pointed out by my brother and father). My father also liked to point out the technical plot holes…like going Mach 5 without a mask on!

  11. Hey now, you leave GI Joe alone! What’s actually somewhat sad about the movie is that they’re trying to modernize it, instead of focusing on what made the Joes so fun when I was a youngin’ (and I had dozens of the things)… just absurd battles with lots of explosions. Instead, they’re changing names of things, making it about terrorists, etc.

  12. Steve

    Hey as long as they have laser guns and a PSA at the end ill go see it!

  13. Brett Wood

    Let’s wait a little bit before declaring it as something that sucks. Remember the Transformers movie? That turned out fine. Anyways from what was reported on Hisstank.com a while ago, this looks interesting. A few points I remember.
    -Destro serves as the main villian. It seems MARS is after some doomsday weapon.
    -Joes get formed to stop this.
    -Cobra Commander and Cobra are in the film. I figure that they’ll be set up for the sequal, and play both sides.
    -Baroness is in skintight black leather.

  14. Brian McP

    It’s difficult to overestimate the amount of suck this movie will contain, but having Eccleston in it will mitigate that somewhat.

    Good to see the movie’s lack of quality has been firmly established as fact before any real details or knowledge about it have been released.

  15. Mena
  16. JJonahJansen

    Hey, Rob Johnson; good recommendation for Cracker there.
    I should add that everyone that does check it out should watch the 25 episodes from beginning to end. There are story arcs that go thru the entire series as well as self-contained ones. What happens in one episode has repercussions in following ones. Anybody that watches will not be sorry. One of the best things ever put over the airwaves, IMHO.

  17. Forrest Prince

    Ah, G.I. Joe, the quintessential American soldier hero action play doll. I remember mine well, it was G.I. Joe frogman (scuba diver), with complete wetsuit gear, flippers, mask, air tank, depth gauge, and probably more that I can’t remember.

    Joe ‘n me were swimmin’ buddies. I’d take him out to the river with me and we’d spend the day in and under the water, having a great summer time. He was a lot of fun for me. But we never role-played at war. For me, he was cooler and smarter than that. Oh yeah, I played war all the time with my friends, but not with ‘ol Joe. For me, Joe was a scuba diver, not a soldier.

    I’ve never been able to get into Dr. Who; it rambles too much for me. And I don’t know anything about Eccleston, but he’s just an actor and actors need to work, so more power to him with this film. But given my childhood relationship with a peaceful G.I. Joe, I very much doubt I’ll go see this flick.

  18. To represent those of us who didn’t grow up with the big Barbie-doll version of GI Joe (I know it was the original but still it’s the size of a barbie doll). I grew up firmly planted in the early to mid-80’s when GI Joe was a series of 4-inch-ish action figures and the cartoon (along with Transformers) is one of my all-time nostalgic memories.

    Also, I’ll reserve judgment on GI Joe since I also agree that the Transformers movie turned out not bad. Someone mentioned that the current movie plot changes some names and makes it about terrorists. Actually the 80’s cartoon I remember was all about terrorists, I believe the Joes were formed to specifically fight World Terrorism (as personified by Cobra) in the original cartoon.

    In fact, you can watch a bunch of the original GI Joes (and Transformers and MacGyver) if you download Joost (from joost.com).

  19. ha! Nostalgic memories…

    This is what happens when you are repeatedly interrupted in the middle of a post, again and again.

  20. Chip

    When I was a kid, I didn’t have G.I. Joe, but my militant period was covered by the Airfix HO scale WWII era soldiers which consisted of 48 plastic figures in each box representing various ranks and positions in WWII armies: US Marines, US Army G.I.s, RAF ground crew and pilots, British Army, Royal Marines, French Army, German soldiers, German Luftwaffe ground crew and pilots and Japanese soldiers. They bloodlessly swept over my HO train layouts until Allied victory was declared and peace treaties were signed, all coinciding with an awareness of girls.

  21. You know that’s funny. Most of my GIJoes suffered horrible deaths via firecrackers, small fires and being chemically dissolved. Which now that I think about it also coincide with my awareness of girls.

    Is it possible that women have the power to destroy armies?

  22. Impium Orexis

    I would watch it, except it’s no longer Government Issue Joe. It’s just not cool to be American anymore, so G.I. Joe has been changed from real American heroes to G.I.J.O.E., Global Initiative Joint Operating Entity, or some such horse manure. I get that movies are released globally, but I refuse to fund the selling out of my childhood.

  23. sirjonsnow

    Um, GI Joe in the 80’s was a weekly half hour commercial for toys – by definition your childhood WAS a sellout. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun though.

    Anyway, if they turn this into an R-rated action fest for the people who saw the cartoon originally (and are now 30+) it might be okay. But, instead I’m sure it’ll be a PG-13 two hour commercial for NEW toys.

  24. Impium Orexis

    By what logic did you arrive at that assertion? There were toys, and there was a cartoon, therefore the cartoon was a commercial for the toys which makes it a sellout just doesn’t cut it. By definition, you say? Let’s see.

    1. an act or instance of selling out.
    2. an entertainment, as a show or athletic event, for which all the seats are sold.
    3. Informal. a person who betrays a cause, organization, or the like; traitor.
    4. Informal. a person who compromises his or her personal values, integrity, talent, or the like, for money or personal advancement

    Which of these definitions were you citiing? It seems to me that by definition, you are wrong, ie. deviating from truth or fact.

    Yes, all business is about making money, but G.I. Joe being a cartoon didn’t sell out the culture that created it.

  25. I dislike making G.I. Joe into some kind of superhero. The whole point about the original G.I. Joe (the Bill Mauldin cartoon character) is that he wasn’t anyone special; he was the average Joe who’d been drafted and found himself fighting a war overseas. He stood for the ten million citizen soldiers who defeated Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo. The ’80s cartoon lost that altogether, and probably so will this upcoming film.

  26. Keith Lawler

    Finally, B. P. Levenson started getting back to the “original” G.I. Joe. My understanding is that the Mauldin caricature was based on an actual soldier … Joseph F. M. Wilson… to wit, G.I. Joe. If anyone can confirm or refute this, I would really like to know. Joe Wilson was station in Bavaria in 1945.

  27. A. Wilson

    Hey, Keith.
    Joseph F.M. Wilson is my (late) father. How do you know where he was stationed?
    I’ve heard he was called ‘G.I. Joe’ but don’t think he was the first or the inspiration.
    It’s been hard to get details.
    Good luck finding out.



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