We have a new trailer for Undercover Brother 2, which is probably an assortment of words nobody expected to find themselves reading today. Indeed, Universal Pictures has pulled something of a fast one on all of us by putting together this direct-to-video sequel to its 2001 predecessor rather quietly. Though, it seems to be a sequel mostly in name only, as we've got an entirely new cast, with Michael Jai White as our new titular hero.
The trailer is admittedly brief, clocking in at just 30 seconds, which is normally what we can expect from a TV spot. But this appears to be a very small budget, low-key affair. Though, for those familiar with the 2002 movie, many of the same elements are at play here. We've got the organization known as The Brotherhood, who are tasked with trying to take down The Man. It's all coated in 70s sheen and layers of cheese. The big hook here is that we're going to be introduced to the brother of Undercover Brother. Black Dynamite fans might get a kick out of seeing White do something like this.
The full cast includes Michael Jai White Spawn, The Dark Knight, Gary Owen Ride Along, Daddy Day Care, Affion Crockett The Wedding Ringer, A Haunted House 2, Laila Odom Phantom Halo, Game Shakers, Steven Lee Johnson Chicago Fire, No Resolution, Barry Bostwick The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spy Hard and Vince Swann In Contempt, A Stone Cold Christmas. Leslie Small is in the director's chair for this one. Small has helmed other features such as Hair Show and Tara, in addition to comedy specials for the likes of Kevin Hart, Katt Williams and Gary Owen, amongst others.
Undercover Brother 2 centers on the coolest spy in the game his less-than-cool younger brother, Lionel. Way back in 2002, the brothers were hot on the heels of The Man, the leader of a racist, worldwide syndicate known as The Organization. However, they got caught in an avalanche of oppressive, white snow, preventing them from finishing the mission. Sixteen years later, they are discovered, thawed out, and set out to finish the job they started. With the help of The Brotherhood, an old foe, they must take on an even more dangerous threat to the black community and the world; extreme "wokeness."
The original Undercover Brother, directed by Malcolm D. Lee Girls Trip, The Best Man, was a very modest success, bringing in $41 million at the box office. Fronted by Eddie Griffin as the titular character with a cast that included Chris Kattan, Denise Richards, Dave Chappelle, Billy Dee Williams and Neil Patrick Harris, the send-up of the blacksploitation movies of the 70s managed to find something of a cult following in the years that followed. Ultimately, enough of one to warrant a sequel all these years later. Undercover Brother 2 arrives on DVD and Digital HD on November 5 from Universal Pictures Home entertainment. Be sure to check out the trailer for yourself.
EXCLUSIVE: Amid concerns about potential violent situations, the opening weekend of Warner Bros' controversial Joker in New York City will see an increased police presence both in and out of uniform.
Earlier this week, the NYPD's Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison told officers that the department plans to visibly station cops at theaters showing the Joaquin Phoenix-starring film. Now Deadline has learned that a significant undercover detachment will also be deployed to make sure nothing untoward occurs inside cinemas in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
“This is 360-degree policing approach to ensure safety for ticket buyers in their seats, as well as on the streets,” a law enforcement official said of the strategy to have plain-clothed police in a number of theaters in America's largest city starting with the October 3 previews and throughout the expected heavily attended weekend. “If something happens inside one of the screenings, we intend to be able to pacify the situation quickly and conclusively,” the well-placed source added, noting that large-scale and security-hefty events go off without a hitch in New York every day.
Still, concerns about threats have bedeviled this latest take on Batman's arch nemesis since Joker debuted at the Venice Film Festival in late August. Set in a near-collapsing and crime-invested Gotham City of 1981, the Todd Phillips-directed and Golden Lion-winning Joker, which co-stars Robert De Niro,pays distinct homage to Martin Scorsese's 1976 film Taxi Driver and 1982's King of Comedy — both of which featured his The Irishman lead De Niro and both of which were stationed in a decaying NYC.
“There are no specific or credible threats at this time and these events will continue to be closely monitored,” a NYPD spokesperson told Deadline in an official statement this week about the opening of Joker. “Any additional personnel will be deployed as needed. Members of the public are encouraged to help police in the shared responsibility of public safety. If you see something, say something by calling 911.”
Pretty standard stuff and similar to what the LAPD and other law enforcement organizations have said in recent days. However, it is that “additional personal will be deployed as needed” that may contain the true scope of the plans for NYC's Finest this weekend.
After a New York Film Festival screening and onstage Q&A featuring Phillips and Phoenix on Wednesday, Joker is set to be released in 45 locations around the five boroughs starting Thursday afternoon. Still, Joker seemingly lacks the promotional presence in NYC compared with what it has on numerous billboards, bus stop shelters and public transit wraps in Los Angeles and other cities.
Anecdotally, Deadline could only find consequential advertising for the film blaring down on Times Square. Amid the visual overload of the tourist-magnet location, the building-sized video screen ironically looms over the small NYPD precinct at 43rd and 7th Avenue. That location that is a mere hop, skip and a jump from the AMC Empire 25 cinema, among the multiplexes showing Joker this week.
The first Batman-related film to be given a R-rating by the MPAA, the graphic violence of Joker has raised temperatures, eyebrows and more. In a year of mass shootings across the nation in public spaces, the film has also attracted misgivings from families impacted by the gun-fueled fatalities in Aurora, CO at a July 2012 midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
On September 24, Warner Bros in response sought to address those concerns and promised “it is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.” However, out of sensitivity to the victims of that terrible night over seven years ago, Joker will not be shown in Aurora. Additionally, while the security-heavy and press-contained Los Angeles premiere went off without incident on September 27, theater chains including AMC and Landmark have issued bans on masks being worn by patrons of Joker and other concealments.
“Guests are welcome to come dressed in costume, but we do not permit masks or face paint,” said AMC of its Joker policy. “AMC does not permit weapons or items that would make other guests feel uncomfortable or detract from the movie-going experience.”
Adding even more urgency, a missive from the U.S. Army last week put commanders at Fort Sill in Oklahoma on guard about a Texas law enforcement report spotlighting seemingly Joker-related “disturbing and very specific chatter in the dark web.” The incel intel centered on the potential targeting of an unknown theater for a mass shooting during the weekend of Joker's release.
Spurred on by FBI information, there also was a September 18 safety notice email sent out to military personal about violence at Joker screenings. “Run if you can,” the correspondence told service men and women about what to do if a shooting situation occurs in a theater. “If you're stuck, hide also known as 'sheltering in place', and stay quiet,” the email added. “If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can.”
Contacted by Deadline about the military-identified perceived threat and police plans in NYC and elsewhere in the country for Joker's opening weekend on more than 4,000 screens, the FBI was circumspect.
“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is in touch with our law enforcement and private sector partners about the online posts,” a spokesperson for the bureau said. “As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
Separate from the upcoming movie Snake Eyes, another G.I. Joe spinoff is reportedly in the works from Paramount and Hasbro. Writers Josh Appelbaum and Andrew Nemec, who wrote Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, are attached to pen the script. Additionally, the pair are also writing the Tom Clancy-based thriller Rainbow Six for Paramount with Michael B. Jordan producing. As of now, no director or potential cast members have been named, as only Appelbaum and Nemec have been officially announced as a part of the new project.
Full plot details remain to be seen, but the story will apparently feature an ensemble cast of characters. Reportedly, one of the featured characters will be Chuckles, a member of the team known for his undercover and infiltration work. This is notable as Chuckles didn't appear in either of the previous G.I. Joe movies, meaning this will be his big screen debut. According to the report, the character won't be at the center of the story, but that could change as pre-production moves along. Chuckles first debuted as a part of the G.I. Joe toy line in 1987 and in the Marvel Comics series that same year. It's going to be interesting to see which other names will be a part of the spinoff's ensemble.
Based on the success of the action figures and cartoon series, G.I. Joe was first adapted as a live-action movie with 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It follows American soldiers Duke Channing Tatum and Ripcord Marlon Wayans joining the G.I. Joe Team after they come under attack by Military Armaments Research Syndicate M.A.R.S. troops. After grossing over $300 million at the box office, the sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation was greenlit for a 2013 release. This time, the Joes are framed as traitors by Cobra and must work together to overthrow Cobra Commander and his allies. Now with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a part of the cast, the sequel performed even better at the box office, grossing over $375 million in ticket sales.
In the years since, Paramount sought to continue the success of the franchise in another sequel. Originally, a third installment called G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant was reported to be released in 2016. After juggling directors and failing to make traction, the project ultimately wound up in development hell, but still has yet to be officially canceled. Last year, the studio began to explore other creative options, announcing the spinoff movie Snake Eyes. With Robert Schwentke directing and Evan Spiliotopoulos writing, the movie was initially given a March 27, 2020 release date before later being moved to October of the same year. Because it will serve as an origin story, Ray Park isn't expected to return to reprise the role of Snake Eyes.
G.I. Joe is due for a return to the big screen, and fans can go ahead and mark their calendars now for the release of Snake Eyes on Oct. 16, 2020. No word yet on when this newly-announced spinoff with Chuckles will be hitting the big screen, but updates should be forthcoming as pre-production moves along. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.