Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fraser a Go for “Joe”

Brendan Fraser will have at least a bit role in “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra,” when the long-awaited film arrives in theaters late next summer.

Fraser reluctantly revealed as much during a New York interview for “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” which, by the way, might be this summer’s coolest film for kids, particularly with its “Real D” 3-D effects.

“Oh, you outed me, dude,” Fraser said after being asked about his “G.I. Joe” appearance.
However, when I showed him that the role was listed in “Journey” press notes, anyway, the good-guy action-film hero talked more about it:

“ 'G.I. Joe' is a cameo that I begged (producer) Bob Ducsay for.
"Stephen Sommers (helmer on Fraser's first two "Mummy" films) was going to direct and called me when I was in Italy doing 'Inkheart,' and I was like, 'Awesome!' Then he said, 'I'm not going to direct.' I said 'Please?' I think he had a few more irons in the fire.

“Later, we were in Shanghai and Bob had a big old grin on his face. I was like 'What?' And he said, 'We just got the green light from Paramount to do ‘Joe.’” This was before the (Writers Guild) strike and everything.

“ I said, 'Congratulations, can I be in it?' He took me seriously. He kind of gave me an open ticket to do whatever I wanted. My character choice is that I am Rick O'Connell's great, great grandson.”

Even people who never played war with toy Army soldiers likely know that Rick O’Connell is the character Fraser plays in "The Mummy" films, including "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," due Aug. 1. The actor said he asked for the part because he had his own G.I. Joe growing up as the son of an executive who moved his family all over North America.

“Hey, I was a red blooded, American, Canadian kid,” he concluded, running out of the interview room before giving away too much more. “My G.I. Joe wound up twisting from a tree from his parachute for an entire winter. I loved him!”

Look for more here on “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and Fraser’s attractive co-star, Anita Briem, before it opens July 11.

Meanwhile, read my review of this week's big family film, the animated "WAll-E," whose director talks with me about his cute little love story at MovieZen and in the Sun News.

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