For a guy who allegedly got fired from his latest film, Stephen Sommers shows few signs that he's letting the rumor mill wear him down. "The guys who have been hammering me for the last year have really turned around in the last couple of weeks when they started seeing the movie," Sommers beamed during an interview about G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. "I'm pretty happy."
Admittedly, Sommers' commercial track record is almost inversely proportionate to his critical one, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars with the Mummy movies and Van Helsing despite reviews that were, to say the least, often unkind. But speaking to the director via telephone about G.I. Joe, Sommers indicated that he has accepted – if not championed – his spot among Hollywood's purveyors of pure spectacle. "They love to hate the guys who make the movies that they love," he said of the "internet movie haters" calling for his head.
Cinematical spoke to Sommers about his participation in G.I. Joe, which followers of the film know has been highly-contested in press reports as the film moved towards its opening day, August 7. In addition to clarifying his employment status at the helm of the film, he discussed the development of the film's iconic conflict between G.I. Joe and Cobra, reflected on what interests him as a director and storyteller, and perhaps most importantly, explained why some of the costumes were changed en route to the silver screen.
Cinematical: When you started working on G.I. Joe, what did you feel like was essential to preserve about the source material, and what did you know that by necessity would have to change when you adapted and updated it for live-action?