With a combined worldwide gross of $670+ million for G.I.JOE: RISE OF COBRA and G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, Hasbro and Paramount has a franchise they cannot walk away from. The action packed series, while not critically acclaimed, is entertaining and puts butts seats. Early talk of a third film revealed that filming may start in early 2015 with a release date of 2016. So while the producers are searching for a new director to handle the sequel, and writer Jonathan Lemkin is working on a script, it begs the question just who is in and who is out?
To begin with, the return of ROADBLOCK/Dwayne Johnson is more than probable. A lot of the second films success can be thrust upon the wide shoulders of "The Rock" and his likability, which translates to a loyal fan base. Bringing Roadblock back only makes sense.
DUKE/Channing Tatum was mentioned by former director Jon Chu as possibly returning, but that may be off the table with Chu no longer on the film. And seeing as the leadership baton has been passed, Duke's absence should open the door for someone fresh like...
Sergeant Major Lonzo R. Wilkinson is one of the original members of the G.I. Joe team. The team's resident Army Ranger, he served with Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow in the same L.R.R.P. His back history friendship with them, plus his enigmatic personality would make for an interesting film portrayal as a second in command/ support protagonist.
As for villains...
As Cobra's pay for hire mercenary, Major Bludd is a fan favorite who has yet to appear on screen. An Australian terrorist and war criminal, Bludd's data sheet was seen in RETALIATION briefly, so a full blown depiction should be coming soon, just as Firefly was featured in the last film. Just hearing some of his poetry would be worth the price of admission.
With Major Bludd and the rumor of a returning Baroness, the film would play with the flirtatious/romantic love/hate relationship between the two.
As for potential story-lines, there is one issue from the Marvel comic series I would love to see portrayed on the screen. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #24 "Shake Down!"
Fighter pilot Ace with Lady Jaye gets ambushed by Wild Weasel in the skies over New Jersey, and the ensuing dogfight is a spectacle of aerial superiority that ends in draw. It would make for a stirring sub-story on the big screen.
And one final suggestion...
THE OKTOBER GUARD. 'nuff said.