G.I. Joe [see Photos | Videos]
The world of G.I. JOE is filled with fantastical sounding military gear. Accelerator Suits, Liquid Armor, camouflage that makes you invisible in any environment. It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but all this equipment is actually closer to science fact. These technologies already exist in some form or another, from concept phase to manufacturing stage. What the G.I. JOE filmmakers did was take these technologies and imagine where they would be ten or twenty years from now.
“We set the story in the not so distant future which gave us the license to exploit today′s technological advances,” explains G.I. JOE director Stephen Sommers. “We′re taking technology that exists in one form or another and positing where it could possibly go.”
Each of the technologies shown are “things that we all know the military are doing, we just haven′t seen them yet,” adds producer Brian Goldner.
They′re all things we expect to see on the battlefield one day, just not now. “They′re what we call ‘next generation’,” says executive producer David Womark. “It′s kind of like if somebody handed you an iPhone ten years ago. If you looked at it, you could see that it could exist someday, just not yet.”
G.I. JOE′s costume designer, Ellen Mirojnick, embraced these ‘next generation’ designs. After first getting acquainted with the franchise, the designer and her team researched the latest military technologies. “They wanted it to give you that same feeling we all had the first time we watched James Bond,” says Mirojnick. “That was thrilling because we saw things we hadn′t seen before, and it was a whole new experience. That feeling was something Stephen was very, very anxious to capture.”
The basic G.I. JOE fighting outfit is a flexible, full body suit modeled on the technology of Liquid Armor. “It′s a high-tech battle suit that′s impenetrable, but you put it on like high-performance skiwear,” Mirojnick explains.
On typical superhero movies, the actor wears an inner muscle suit beneath his clothes. “We didn′t want to do that,” says Mirojnick. So she designed a suit around the idea of Liquid Armor. It is a suit that is sculpted musculature that enables the external anatomy to become liquid armor. The conceit was to put the muscles on the outside.”
DELTA-6 ACCELERATOR SUIT
Sommer′s direction to the G.I. JOE design team was fairly straightforward. “On our first day, he told me, ‘You must create iconic images’,” says costume designer, Ellen Mirojnick. “Those were our marching orders, and we designed from there.” The coolest representation of ‘next generation’ technology mixed with iconic imagery can be seen in the Delta-6 Accelerator Suit.
G.I. Joe [see Photos | Videos]
“We don′t like losing our guys. We respect our men and women in uniform and we hate when we lose them,” says Sommers. “The idea of the future is that you can see how weaponry and the military are going. They′re trying to make it as casualty free as possible. They′re going to have a version of the accelerator suit where our guys are as hard to kill as possible. The accelerator suits are basically the armor of the future.”
Traditional camouflage allows the wearer to blend into their environment, tan colors for the desert, white suits for a snowy environment, brown and green-camo for woodland hiding. But what if the wearer is moving through multiple environments with the same suit. The G.I. JOE Enhanced Camouflage Suit serves the traditional function of blending into the environment through color and pattern but uses technology that allows the wearer to practically disappear no matter what his or her surroundings. In its dormant state, the suit appears as traditional camouflage, but when activated, a computerized enhancement provides a next-gen method of stealth. This may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but in fact, the army is deep in development on this technology.