Animation writer Henry Gilroy spoke with Slash Film to explain why G.I. Joe: Renegades received the ill fate it did not deserve.
“We had a second season where literally Cobra Commander was Osama bin Laden, who’s basically on the run full on […] They were terrorists…Then the Joes were brought back to be special agents for the government who were hunting down Cobra terrorists so, it was going to be really fun. We had … really fun stories for it, but this, c’est la vie.”
The issue was that the 2009 live-action film “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” had a similar plot and a corresponding toy line. Gilroy tells /Film that they did ask Hasbro about it. He says, “We were like, ‘Wait a second. You guys can’t do that. That’s what…’ And they’re like going, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.'” Combining that with the Hasbro rule that said you couldn’t have that many different toy lines around the same time meant that the animated series was canceled in favor of the film, which didn’t exactly set the box office on fire with a worldwide take of $302 million.
Even more of a slap in the face was that this was all happening right before the release of “The Avengers,” which led one executive to ask Gilroy, “Can you make all of the Joes into Avengers?” The executive also asked if Snake Eyes could be more like Wolverine or if Roadblock could be more like the Hulk. Gilroy says:
“And I think they were thinking, like, ‘Oh, right, we’re going to give Duke a bow, so he’ll be like Iron Man and Hawkeye.’ All those weird things, where the toys come first and then you write your story after.”