“I thought what was great in ‘The Dark Knight’ was that Heath kept telling you different stories [about his past] so you never knew what it was, and they were all spooky and crazy. [In our film] you get to see it, and you get to understand what’s happened to this guy.”
So essentially, what’s being said is: “You know how they dealt with The Joker in The Dark Knight and how awesome it was? Yeah, well, we’re not doing anything like that! We’re going to do what everyone else does."
But that’s not really the deal breaker. From the same interview:
And while the character is widely known for his blue mask, don’t expect that to necessarily carry over in whole either. “We’ll see Cobra Commander in the Cobra mask [but] it will not be like the show,” said di Bonaventura, who also promised they aren’t going to the comics for that one either. “I found some of the [mask] aspects a little KKK for me,” he said, “so we tried to steer away from that image. We thought that might be a little much.”
First things first: So di Bonaventura was able to look at a blue, draped hood emblazoned with a red cobra and get the Ku Klux Klan from that?
Am I not making the right connection here? You wanna get offended by Cobra Commander’s hood? Fine. But get offended by it for the right reason. KKK? You’re thinking too small, good sir. Here’s what is arguably the inspiration for Cobra Commander and his hood…
Marvel Comics’ Baron Heinrich Zemo. Captain America and Avengers villain. Founder of The Masters of Evil. Nazi scientist. I’m very certain that the entire Cobra organization from The Commander on down is meant to evoke fascist, Nazi-esque imagery. They’re evil with a capitol “E.” That’s what always made Cobra kind of scary. That and deathtrap laden funhouses.
But the Klan? Really? That’s just lazy. If you want to use negative imagery as an excuse to make unwarranted changes to a property, then pick the right ones.
Yet using negative imagery to justify changes to this character still rings hollow. After all, Cobra Commander is a terrible human being. He’s a terrorist responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands and unapologetically proud of it. He murdered his own son as both a warning of what would happen to those who would rise against him and to prove to himself that he wasn't weak. He started World War III just to prove he could. For Christ’s sake, he used to be a used car salesmen! You’re supposed to hate the guy. He has no redeeming qualities.
That di Bonaventura looks at the character and gets unsettled is a good thing. He should know that, unless… unless he has ulterior motives. Could it be that he has no real concern for staying true to the property and is just looking for a reason to make unnecessary changes?
“Ah-Ha! He has a hood! The Klan wears a hood! Now I have all the reason I need to give Cobra Commander a translucent hood with tubes feeding from his chest to his face!”
Yes. This is what producers have opted to make Cobra Commander look like. A translucent mask and tubes running from the chest to the head never looked so menacing.I’m not kidding myself. Movies like this are never meant to be fan wanks. They’re meant to make money for someone like di Bonaventura. It’s not about the property but the property’s name and knowing that no matter what you make, there should be enough geeks somewhere that’ll turn out and try to convince themselves it’s a great flick based on the sole basis of what it’s been named and adequate special effects.
I’ve wasted too much money on bad adaptations and too much breath arguing with people who defend them. Simple fact is the producers of G.I. Joe are actually doing us all a favor broadcasting their ignorance of the property. I’m glad I know this far out that the filmmakers don’t get it. Saves me the time and money of finding out while sitting in a theater with high hopes.
So, yeah. I’m out.