Cobra Commander, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation"

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation”

April 13, 2013

Costume Designer Louise Mingenbach is well-versed in the big-screen action genre. Having worked on films such as “X-Men,” “X-2,” “Superman Returns,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Battleship,” creating looks for a Hollywood blockbuster is second nature to the designer.

When it came time to establish the overall look for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” the sequel to Stephen Sommers’ 2009 live- action “G.I. Joe” adaptation, Mingenbach and Assistant Costume Designer Alison McCosh had little to no time to prep. With less than two months to get the picture started and move to New Orleans, where the film was shot, they were working under the gun.

As soon as they realized that everything would have to be made to order and fabrics embellished with applied textures and finishes, the two went straight to their trusted specialty costumers in Los Angeles to get the job done. With production centered in New Orleans and costumes produced in Los Angeles, “we had boxes coming in almost every day throughout the entire shoot,” Mingenbach says.

When creating the look for Cobra Commander, director Jon Chu wanted to reinvent the character and take this iconic villain to the next level. “The look was a big departure from the look on the first “G.I. Joe” film,” says Mingenbach. Jose Fernandez from Ironhead Studio, an effects firm that specializes in costume and creature design, created the ultimate helmet and mask for Cobra (played by actor Rex Lewis). “The look was pure evil power,” says Mingenbach. “There was a collective gasp on set on Cobra’s first day.”

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is playing in theaters now.

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