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New G.I. Joe spinoff may revive character who's been undercover since '87

By Benjamin Bullard
Chuckles in GI Joe comics from IDW Publishing

Unless you dove deep into the comics or collected every toy in the G.I. Joe lineup back in the day, you may not be familiar with one of the series’ more interesting good guys. But, thanks to a reported new G.I. Joe spinoff movie in the works as part of Paramount's franchise reboot, those days of being in the dark may soon be over.

Via The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount and Hasbro already are deep in development on yet another G.I. Joe film, in addition to the already-announced Snake Eyes movie from The Time Traveler’s Wife director Robert Schwentke. And while the new spinoff reportedly isn’t being written to revolve solely around him, the underappreciated undercover specialist Chuckles (aka Phillip M. Provost) will reportedly make his first on-screen appearance since 1987’s G.I. Joe: The Movie in the upcoming ensemble film.

In many ways, the new spinoff may be an opportunity for a re-introduction of sorts for Chuckles, a character whose lone screen appearance diverged significantly from the version fans know from the Marvel and IDW comics. On paper, Chuckles is a confident, good guy with a strong personal code that favors the mission first and always — and he’s willing to play the long con game, especially with Cobra, to win trust and unearth nefarious plans. 

 G.I. Joe: Cobra #3: Cobra II – Fangs

Contrast that with Chuckles’ strong-but-silent role in G.I. Joe: The Movie, which gave him no speaking part and instead opted to treat him as a one-man wrecking tank for the home team. We don’t know if the new spinoff has plans to task Chuckles with more berserker badassery (like one-punching three Dreadnoks into oblivion), but here’s hoping the Little Rock, Arkansas-born covert ops pro gets plenty of fleshing out as Hasbro and Paramount look to breathe new life into their real American Heroes.

The new movie reportedly is being scripted by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, both writing alumni of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, as well as TV’s Alias. The pair also are working in similar military-thriller territory with an upcoming Paramount movie based on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six.

The untitled G.I. Joe spinoff comes a little more than a year after our first news that Snake Eyes is getting his own standalone movie. Ray Park last stepped into the role of the gun-toting ninja back in 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, though it appears he won’t be reprising that role in what producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura described to /Film late last year as a Snake Eyes “origin story.”

There’s no early word on a release date for Chuckles’ return to the screen alongside his patriotic pals — so now’s the time to drag out those comics, rewatch those movies, and maybe even check out the awesome G.I. Joe toy-themed episode of Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us for a quick crash course. As for Snake Eyes, he’s set to stealth into theaters on Oct. 16 of next year. Yo Joe!