Now the dust has started to settle, the damage control is at least mostly done and the decision actually made, the real reasons for the massive delay to GI Joe: Retaliation‘s release date have begun to appear. Both Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter are running stories that cite the actual reasons as being, in no particular order;
-The desire to up-convert to 3D to take advantage of the international box office available from new 3D cinemas rolling out across Russia and China.
-Fear of not being able to compete against The Amazing Spiderman.
-The critical drubbing and relative under-performance of Battleship.
-Not enough Channing Tatum.
This last one fascinates me. Apparently test audiences reacted very well to the ‘He’s The Rock! He’s Channing Tatum! They fight crime! And Ninja! And reptile-themed would-be world dictators! And Jonathan Pryce!’ stuff at the start of the movie.
So much so, in fact, that Tatum was called back for a week of re-shoots to add more banter to the scenes before his possibly horrific death.
Tatum has had a hell of a year, with a breakout performance in 21 Jump Street (released months ago and still playing in several local Fremont cinemas as I write this) and The Vow, with Magic Mike, based on his own experiences as a strippergram, up next.
It’s no wonder there’s a perceived hunger for him. His hour appears to have come at last, or at the very least he’s stolen Taylor Kitsch‘s hour and changed the serial numbers.
But then, there’s what people aren’t saying about Tatum. Whilst The Rock has said new scenes are being designed to take advantage of the 3D, I suspect there may be more going on.
It would be relatively easy to re-shoot enough scenes to make Duke, Tatum‘s character, a presence throughout the movie and if nothing else, a wounded, haggard Duke making the last minute save when all seems lost seems pretty likely. After all, it’s not like Duke hasn’t died before, and at least this time it wouldn’t be at the hands of a man in a snake-themed onesie.
GI Joe: Retaliation is, as pf today, scheduled for release on the 29th of March 2013. Check back for regular updates.