Bruce Willis may play original Joe in “G.I. Joe” sequel

By Sean O’Connell Bruce Willis appears to be having fun with his action-hero image as he transitions gracefully into the later stages of his acting career.

Willis smirked his way through an amusing cameo with his Planet Hollywood partners Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Expendables.” And now he appears ready to join a campy action franchise as its pioneering hero.

Willis is “in talks” to play the original Joe in Paramount’s planned G.I. Joe sequel, “Retaliation,” THR reports. John M. Chu, who helmed “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” will direct the sequel that’s also bringing Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Stevenson and RZA into the fold.

“Willis, if a deal comes together, would play General Joe Colton, the man who in 1980s comic books starts the G.I. Joe strike team, called the ultimate freedom fighting force, and got the handle G.I. Joe.,” the trade reports.

The first “Joe,” subtitled “The Rise of Cobra,” was a modest hit for the studio in 2009, earning $302 million worldwide. The sequel reportedly begins shooting later this month in New Orleans, with an eye on a June 29, 2012 release date.

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