Here's how badly I remember the G.I. Joe cartoons I watched daily as a kid: in seeing this new casting headline, I immediately thought the G.I. Joe movie was primarily filling women roles first. See, my bad memory had me thinking Storm Shadow is a female. I guess because the name sounds like Eye Shadow, or is reminiscent of Shadowcat (though somehow not reminiscent of The Shadow) and Storm, both being female X-Men. But now I know. And knowing ... well, in this case it's the whole battle. It is half the casting news, though, and thanks to another great Latino Review exclusive, we hear that Storm Shadow (brother of Snake Eyes) will be played by Korean "Mega Star" Byeong-Heon Lee (aka Byung-Hun Lee). Asian cinema fans might be familiar with Lee from Ji-woon Kim's A Bittersweet Life, Chan-wook Park's J.S.A.: Joint Security Areaand/or from Park's segment "Cut" from Three ... Extremes, in which he starred as the film director. He'll also be seen in the upcoming Josh Hartnett-starrer I Come with the Rain. In G.I. Joe he will be playing Japanese; Storm Shadow is Cobra Commander's ninja bodyguard and assassin, though the character has been known to have loyalties to the good guys, too.
As for the other half of the casting news, this one is really a woman. A very beautiful woman, in fact. Playing the hot, red-headed Scarlett (what? you never thought cartoons were hot?), is former model Rachel Nichols, who two or three of you may have seen this year in either P2or Resurrecting the Champ (she also appears in the upcoming, likely more popular Charlie Wilson's War). Nichols is perfect for the role of G.I. Joe's super-smart martial arts expert, and sometime team leader, as she's not just good-looking. Did you know she graduated from Columbia with a double major in math and economics? Of course, she'll have to adequately pull off a Georgian accent, but really all we care about is that she looks good holding a crossbow -- not that Scarlett would like us to think of her only as a sex symbol; she'd remind us that, "beauty may only be skin deep, but lethal is to the bone."
UPDATE: IESB has received official studio confirmation that the above casting rumor is indeed true. Head over there to read Paramount's statements.