afternoon I got a phone call telling me that it was being reported that George Clooney would be playing Duke in the big screen GI Joe movie. My initial reaction was, ‘Of course he’s not.’

Now IGN has confirmed my suspicion*, and added a whole bunch of info about GI Joe, which has been officially greenlit. The site says the film is budgeted at an astounding 170 million dollars (you can’t even get Snowjob out of bed for less than 5 mil these days, and that’s just the start of the expenses). They also explain that the movie is shooting early next year not to beat the strike but rather because if Paramount doesn’t get this thing into production ASAP they could lose the rights to the toyline. Also, a list of additional writers mentioned by the Hollywood Reporter are not taking cracks at the whole script but rather polishing certain scenes in Stuart Beattie’s draft. I imagine they’ve assembled a trio – John Lee Hancock and the team of Brian Koppelman and David Levien – in order to beat the November 1 strike date.

Expect legitimate news about GI Joe to start pouring out in the coming days, and expect the movie, which recasts the Real American Hero as an international anti-terrorist force based in Brussels**, to blow chunks. Sorry, but Stephen Sommers is directing it. I’ll eat my words should the film turn out to be good. Or if there’s a famine and I can’t find anything else to eat.

* Other suspicions I hope to have confirmed: water is wet, sugar is sweet and your mother swallows.

** So as to be closer to Jean Claude Van Damme’s source of life.