G.I. Joe is a line of action figures produced by the toy company Hasbro. The initial product offering represented four of the branches of the U.S. armed forces with the Action Soldier (U.S. Army), Action Sailor (U.S. Navy), Action Pilot (USAF), Action Marine (USMC) and later on, the Action Nurse. In popular usage, the term G.I. stands for Government Issued and after the First World War became a generic term for U.S. soldiers. The origin of the term dates to World War I, when much of the equipment issued to U.S. soldiers was stamped "G.I.", meaning that it was made from galvanized iron. The development of G.I. Joe led to the coining of the term "action figure". G.I. Joe's appeal to children has made it an American icon among toys.
In 2009 Stephen Sommers directed a big budget Hollywood live-action movie based on G.I. Joe. The first film in what is intended to be a franchise, is G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, stars Channing Tatum in the role of Duke, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the role of Cobra Commander. Tatum describes the film as being a cross between X-Men, Transformers and Mission: Impossible, "It's a huge $170 million movie. It's just a big kid sort of driven film".
The movie showcased the main members of G.I. Joe and Cobra. While some characters held true to the cartoon adaptations, others differed markedly in significant respects. As well, the storyline gave a different foundation for the battle between G.I. Joe and Cobra. The movie is based in present time (however at the beginning of the movie it states "In the not too distant future") and shows glimpses of each character’s history. In the movie, Cobra sets out to cause destruction using high tech weapons and sell them to ruthless terrorists. The G.I. Joe members join together to stop Cobra from becoming a global terrorist organization.
The sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation was scheduled to be released in June 2012 but was delayed until March 2013. In the film, the Joes are framed as traitors by Zartan, who is still impersonating the President of the United States, and Cobra Commander now has all the world leaders under Cobra's control, with their advanced warheads aimed at innocent populaces around the world. Outnumbered and out gunned, the Joes form a plan with the original G.I. Joe General Joseph Colton to overthrow the Cobra Commander and his allies Zartan, Storm Shadow and Firefly.
Transformers + G.I. Joe Crossover Movie
On March 28, 2013, during the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura announced that he is open to doing a G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover. On July 26, 2013, G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu stated that he is also interested in directing a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover film. di Bonaventura stated on June 23, 2014 that a crossover was not likely to happen. However, he later stated that a crossover was still a possibility.