In what is explicitly not an April Fools’ joke devised as satirical commentary on the coldly algorithmic efficiency of the movie industry, Paramount has confirmed that it is moving forward on a third G.I. Joe movie, a decision triggered automatically by Retaliation’s weekend box office haul and not ancient folkloric tradition. Variety quotes serious studio sources who confirmed the news without then breaking into gales of mischievous laughter, saying the sequel’s messy nine months of reshoots and 3-D retrofitting had given producers plenty of time to think it through—more so than just a spur-of-the-moment, “Ha ha, wouldn’t it be funny if we threw together another one of these big dumb toy movies that no one admits to liking, but which do huge business in foreign nations where machine-gun fire replacing dialogue is actually its selling point?” goof.

Furthermore, the fact the significant 3-D upcharge had a lot to do with Retaliation’s relative success wasn’t seen as evidence that Paramount is no longer in the business of art but of pricey gimmickry—and thus the subject of a knowingly self-deprecating joke—but rather as evidence that, whatever else happens in it, they’d better make the next one 3-D as well. Details on less significant details such as what actors will return or new action figures will be flung at each other in approximation of story will be released on some other, non-April Fools' Day to come, when it will be all too obvious that this is serious.