If you weren’t shocked when Paramount decided to delay Jon Chu’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” for almost a year (9 months to be exact), then you just haven’t been following Hollywood closely enough. Studios don’t do that, especially when they’ve already spent a buttload of money to advertise the film, and with a release date weeks away. And when it comes to big, Summer event films like “Retaliation”, it’s not just about the movie — it’s also about the merchandising.
Paramount’s official reason for the delay was that it wanted to post-convert the film to 3D to better ensure the film’s box office prospects. One of the unofficial reasons had them trying to avoid the glutted Summer schedule, steering clear of bigger movies like Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man”.
And then there’s Nikki Finke over at Deadline, who claims to know the real reason for the delay. In a word: Channing Tatum.
Yup. The man who played Duke in both “G.I. Joe” films is apparently the reason why Paramount is delaying the movie. Especially in light of Tatum’s recent hits, “The Vow” and “21 Jump Street”. The article cites the fact that Tatum’s Duke (as has been long believed) actually dies in the sequel, and very early in the film. Anyone who has seen the trailers would have already suspected this, but turns out, it’s true. And if you’ve seen the film’s posters, you’ll realize that he’s hardly in them, either.
But now that Tatum has become a major box office star (I guess two hits in a roll was enough for Paramount to qualify), they have sent the film back into reshoots. If what Finke’s sources say is true, I think it’s obvious why — to resurrect Duke in “Retaliation”.
How exactly are they going to do that with the film already finished? Well, they could just go in post to delete any mention of Duke’s death, then reshoot an important scene or two to re-insert Duke back into the storyline. I guess. Man, it’s going to be a mess, isn’t it?