Update: According to Variety, Sommers was never fired and is still polishing the film. Also, it's written into his contract that he has final cut. Additionally, test screenings have supposedly yielded "mostly positive reviews."
While many pundits have declared Land of the Lost to be the first bomb of summer 2009, rumors emanating from the set of G.I. Joe seem to indicate that it certainly won't be the last. If you've been dutifully following our coverage of Joe, you'll no doubt recall that the project has been battling bad buzz for the better part of the last seven months, which has taken the form of everything from bra-stuffing allegations to focus groups shunning the trailer. However, some message-board chatter seems to indicate that things have taken a significant turn for the worse. If the rumors are to be believed, not only is G.I. Joe the lowest-testing film in the history of Paramount, but executive Brad Weston has fired director Stephen Sommers from the project!
Here's an excerpt from the message boards over at DonMurphy.net:
After a test screening wherein the film tested the lowest score ever from an audience in the history of Paramount, the executive who pushed for the movie, Brad Weston, had Stephen Sommers, the super hack director of the film fired. Removed. Locked out of the editing room.
Stuart Baird, a renowned "fixer" editor was brought it to try to see if it could be made releasable. Meanwhile producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura whose turkey IMAGINE THAT explodes this weekend as the new bomb in theatres (also championed by Weston) was told his services were no longer needed on the film either.
Sommers was then forced by his William Morris agents to pretend that he was working on Tarzan over at Warner Brothers doing design work, even though that film doesn't even have a good script yet. When word of the firing started to be whispered about in Hollywood, Sommers was summoned back to the editing room - but only to save appearances, Baird is still editing the movie with studio input.
Wow, sounds like Paramount has another Love Guru–type stinker on its hands. However, since we always do our darnedest to find the silver lining in things, we'll leave you with this: We're pretty sure that Uwe Boll will sleep tight tonight knowing he's no longer the worst director on earth!
Rumor: Stephen Sommers Fired Mid-Way Through G.I. Joe? [First Showing]