Remember last week, when we learned that Paramount had yanked G.I. JOE: Retaliation from theaters?  The official reason was to do some 3D-ifying to the flick to sell it to foreign audiences.  Thanks to Deadline, we now know the real reason.


I don’t know if this is going to be a spoiler since Paramount is reshooting specific scenes, but in the version that was set to release in June 2012, featured Channing Tatum’s character, Duke, getting killed.  Those who keep track of star power (we don’t fwiw), know that Tatum is a hot commodity, and killing the character off was a big turn-off for audiences.

In our first screening of the film the reaction from audiences was good but with 2 big concerns: 1) They didn’t like the fact that Channing and The Rock really didn’t have any time to develop a friendship before Channing died, and 2) Why wasn’t it going to be in 3D? We went back and shot another week with Channing to develop more of his story with The Rock, which made the film play much better. But we didn’t have the time to be in 3D.

So, the studio is frantically reworking the movie to keep Tatum alive, and make audiences happy.   I’m not really surprised by this, as last minute shuffling raised the flag for me that this picture was in trouble.   If there are extensive reshoots, then the budget for the movie is going to skyrocket, and that is all before this magic money making 3D-ifying Kool-Aid is added to the bottom line.  Paramount is putting a lot of faith that Chinese and Russian audiences are going to flock to see this film to offshoot what Paramount says is a $130 million budget.

Add to that the advertising budget that now has to be flushed (remember that Super Bowl ad, that cost over a million bucks?), a whole new advertising campaign has to be created to rehype the movie, and hopefully diffuse audience confusion as to why the movie was yanked in the first place.  Previous discussions, and research indicate that at least $75 to $100 million will be spent on advertising, and after all the profit participation is divvied up, Paramount is going to need at least $300 million to see any money float into its accounts.

While the trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation looks good, and it may indeed be better than the first movie, I still wonder if the bad taste left in the mouths of audiences will result in box office dollars.

via Deadline


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. I’m a big fan of G.I. Joe, and I think “Retaliation” looks great, but I don’t think it’s really a simple question of “good or bad”. The real draw is will enough people see it in March?

    This sounds like what happened with “John Carter” – there just wasn’t enough interest in the movie to foot the massive bill on the budget. The last “G.I. Joe” did okay releasing in August, but from what I hear, “Retaliation” will be opening against the Stephanie Meyer adaptation “The Host” . . . Lord almighty it sounds like “John Carter” all over again.

    Maybe they were going to stab Duke with Serpentor’s spear and realized they’d done that before . . .

    • Yeah, but, Stephanie Meyer or not, I haven’t seen a positive review of ‘The Host’ as a book. I can’t imagine that the box office draw would be that tremendous for it (and, certainly, nowhere near the level of her other book-to-movie adaptations).

  2. I was actually looking forward to the movie. From the trailer it looked so much better than the first. And I always like ninja fights. If they took it down to do a rewrite then that makes me feel better than doing it just to add 3D which I abhor.

  3. What I wonder is if they had already done all their press screenings for the movie? It might be hard to keep a lid on all the spoilers coming out.
    Also, if press screenings were shipped that might leave a possibility of pirated copies making their way into the net a year before the movie comes out for real. That could be interesting.

  4. I always expected them to do some deelly bopper at the end showing that Duke and several other Joes actually found a way to survive.

  5. random note for Matt, who, IIRC likes the actress that played Scarlett, Rachel Nichols. She apparently has a Canadian scifi series called Continuum now. She’s a cop from 70 years in our future sent back to our present to handle fugitive criminals from her time. Basically a twenty-year update on Time Trax with Nichols in a scifi catsuit.

    I imagine it’s as good as Time Trax was….

  6. brainypirate on

    I’m confused because the quote given doesn’t say anything about Duke’s death being an issue, or about rewriting the script so that he doesn’t die. Was that information given somewhere else in the news story?

  7. C.H.U.D. enthusiast on

    This is hilarious. In the late 80’s the G.I. Joe animated movie had to have it’s ending changed so Duke did not die, because of the negative reaction to Optimus Prime’s death in the Transformers animated movie.

  8. Forget all that. What kind of test audience WANTS a movie made in 3D?? What, did they stack the audience with friends and family of the producers or something?

  9. Does any one remember how terrible/wooden Tatum’s acting was in the first one?!? SERIOUSLY?!? Did they put a bunch of 14 year old girls in the test audience? You know… The NON-Target audience for a GI Joe movie… Personally, I think it would have been better to kill Duke off, and have him be resurrected in a different body (ie replacing terrible actor with someone who can show even 1 iota of emotion on his face and not just be eye candy for little girls).

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