‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’: The Real Reason for the Delay

Published 3 years ago by

GI Joe Retaliation delayed 570x310  ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation: The Real Reason for the Delay

Last week Paramount Pictures announced that it was delaying the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The action sequel was shifted from its June 29, 2012 launch to March 29, 2013 because the studio wanted to ‘spend extra time converting the film into 3D’. The reason given for the 3D conversion was that the lucrative ticket price could maximise foreign box office revenue and make the film more profitable.

It seemed odd that a studio would pull such a big film just five weeks before it was set to open, and then wait another nine months before it hit screens. Well, not surprisingly the 3D conversion isn’t the real reason for G.I. Joe: Retaliation‘s delay. Not by a long shot. Scroll down for the real story.


Deadline is reporting that G.I. Joe: Retaliation received scores in test screenings that ranged from “mediocre to bad”, and that the one shining light for the film was the relationship between Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson. There was just one tiny problem: Tatum’s character was killed off in the opening minutes of the film. The decision was made to delay the release, arrange a week of reshoots expanding Tatum’s role, and then convert the film into 3D.

Apparently, Paramount didn’t see Channing Tatum as a viable star for the sequel to their 2009 film – hence the reason that Retaliation is toplined by Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. However, Tatum is now a box office draw following the one-two hit combo of The Vow and 21 Jump Street. That Tatum’s role in Retaliation will be expanded must be good news for his fans and his agent, who must have been able to negotiate a steep fee for the actor’s return.

This line of reasoning still equates the release delay to the cash-grab attempt so many fans saw it as. Hasbro (the toy company that owns G.I. Joe) already suffered the U.S. box office failure of Battleship, and G.I. Joe 2 would’ve been quickly overshadowed by The Amazing Spider-Man (which comes out a week after G.I. Joe 2‘s original release date). With this delay, the studio and toy company are clearly doing everything they can to secure some kind of profits from this venture.

Channing Tatum as Duke  ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation: The Real Reason for the Delay

Deadline writes that G.I. Joe: Retaliation’s director Jon M. Chu was ‘shellshocked’ by the news of the release date move (and presumably the reshoots), so it looks like he wasn’t part of the decision making process to change the film at this late stage. Paramount states the added cost of the new work to Joe will be $5 million, and that the budget of the film ‘should stay under $130 million’. This is something of a naive figure, when you take into account how much it must have cost to regroup the production for a week’s filming – and that a decent 3D conversion costs around $10-15 million. On top of this you have the added expense of creating a new marketing campaign for the film, and figuring out what needs to be done with the merchandise for a film that was scheduled to hit screens in the coming weeks.

This trouble for G.I. Joe: Retaliation has a similar parallel to the rumors in 2009 that stated G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra director Stephen Sommers was fired from post-production by Paramount after test screenings for that film resulted in the lowest scores in the studio’s history. Those rumors were shot down (but weren’t completely eradicated, given the film’s lukewarm reception); however, things look a lot worse for G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation will be released on March 29th, 2013. Hopefully.

Source: Deadline

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    • I’m not as excited for the 2nd one because Stephen Sommers isn’t at the helm. I like Sommers’ movies because they are simple and fun, like the Mummy series (even Scorpion King was fun), Van Helsing, G.I Joe. So not really that excited for the 2nd one. :(

      • Couldn’t agree more with you !
        Sommers Movies are always a lot of fun,loved the 2 Mummies and Van Helsing was great too.

        Wish they would have kept him around !

  1. Now, if this is true, then I can probably live with it but Channing Tatum is not a good actor IMO. But I can see that he is now a decent box office draw so that makes more sense than the 3D converting. Still, I’m pissed that i won’t be able to see this movie this summer.

    • Channing Tatum is still not a box office draw.

  2. I knew something else was going on…
    There’s no way a studio would push back a movie by almost a year just for a 3D conversion.

    • LoL yep, They probably reshooting half the film, so that Channing Tatum is also in it…

      Hahaha I bet the Trailers will be the same, just with more Tatum, for instances that scene where the Rock says they the only ones left, Channing Tatum will now say that line!!

      LoL 3D and Channing Tatum…. Why couldn’t they do a Fast Five, and have a post credit scene that shows Tatum surviving … even though we saw him dead!! they could have still done it!!

  3. This is just crazy, these people are so desperate for making more money. They’ll pull back the release date a couple of weeks before it hits theaters, convert it to 3D and if that’s not enough change the story and do re-shoots so a character can live longer in the movie all because his fan base is growing. I don’t know how Hollywood could get more ridiculous.

  4. I’m just happy to hear that channing is being killed off. That instantly makes the rest of the movie better.

    • I have to ask, did you even read the article? It sure sounds to me like the WILL NOT be killing off Tatum’s character.

  5. I had already guessed that spoiler. And if it’s a ‘limited’ filming sequence they’re doing, he’s probably gonna be sidelined, injured and adding tech support or just doing one or two needless scenes later. When are they going to start paying good writers for good scripts?

    • When hell freezes over six times while the planets are perfectly aligned and the moon burns red. In short – never.

      • LMAO!!!

    • And that ladies and gentlemen is all that needs to be said

  6. Tatum dying in the beginning makes a lot of sense, considering that in the trailer he’s only in the beginning and never in any of the shots afterwards. I never really noticed it until now. Weirdly enough, he was the only part I liked out of the first one.

  7. A studio completely rewriting a script and reshooting scenes makes way more sense than the conversion to 3D story. Too bad when a studio takes over creative control, the movie viewer usually loses (remember Spiderman 3?). And by losing, I mean seeing Channing Tatum as an action star (I liked his comedic abilities in 21 Jump Street and The Dilemma). I hope the movie turns out better than the first, I was excited to see this based on the trailer. Now, I don’t know what to think.

  8. Ok ladies, lets look at the real reason we all want to see GI Joe 2…. NINJA’s doing cool stuff, and as from the trailers I’ve seen the film has lots of Ninja’s doing cool stuff.

    But, Tatum sure has grown on me lately, what with 21 Jump Street (so funny), and The Vow (which I was made to much… ok, I wasn’t made to watch it per say.. but… I’m just gonna shut up now lol), so adding more scenes with a script re-write does make sense I suppose.

    Anyways, wtf were they thinking in killing him off, the ninja guy and him made that the original good, and the other dude (is it Wayan or something).

    What’s the old saying… to many d##ks in a gangbang make a sore… no wait there… to many fingers in a pie…. erm that’s not right…. to many cooks in the kitchen etc etc etc. Looks like the execs have almost ruined another film.

    After all, Battleship looked so much like the transformers cash cow it was unreal, I’m sure the original writers almost spat their dinner out when they seen the finished product.

    • Lol hahaha the way i laughed while reading this..

      I just think this GI JOE 2 film looked at Avengers and realized they could have there own little Avenger Moment, by just leaving space for other Joes to survive, so maybe with the Third Film, the Joes from one, and the Joes from 2 can Assemble!! To take on another threat…

      Who Knows

  9. How much do superbowl trailers cost these days? Because it seems like they’ve just thrown that marketing money away. I feel like they’d have to make at least 4 times their budget back by the time all is said and done, or it’ll be an huge loss for the studio.

  10. Seeing how Duke has been a central character in the G.I. Joe series it would make sense not to kill off Joes you could use later on.

  11. I have nothing against Channing Tatum but if the screen tests were that bad I highly doubt his presence will somehow make the movie good. Dwayne Johnson is a solid actor and Bruce Willis is freaking Bruce Willis! If it doesn’t work with them, you need to go back to the drawing board.

    • Couldn’t agree more!

  12. the bottom line is that people that know GI Joe (even todays kids w/GI Joe Renegades and GI Joe reruns on the HUB) know that Duke is one of the main characters of GI Joe, the only two figures that have so many variations/interpretation of them is Duke and Snakeyes, it will be just plain stuped to kill him off, even if people dont like Tatum, the character dosnt deserved that, same thing happen back in the day with the cartoon movie, Duke was supposed to be killed and be replaced by his half-brother Falcon, well they didnt cause fans disaproved of that. I’m just surprised that Hasbro will let something like that happen to their property. Duke dead=fail specialy a franchise that is supported mostly by fan base.

  13. For many of us early on called it about Channing tatum being killed off. You can go back to when screen rant starting showing the trailers and many of us were blogging about this cause he is only in that one shot of the trailer. So it’s no surprise their that he was killed off. But the fact that they are having to rewrite and reshoot tells me that IMO they didn’t necessary have to not bring back the whole crew back from the first one but just provide us with a better story to out do the first one. I am probably one of the few the enjoyed the first one, it was a good pop corn flick. But I would have for the second one not only add new members of the team but focused on a better story. A more compelling story. This is where I think they messed up on this one the new director was so ” I’m gonna re tell a story and let’s just say the first one didn’t even happen “

  14. Niall,

    To me the delay isn’t so much for this reason as it is to maximize interest in the film to what Dwayne’s core audience is. He will be at Wrestlemania next year and it would be ideal to promote something headlined by The Rock in the same weekend as an event that will receive well over a million ppv buys. I think it has much less to do with Tatum than it does with the fact that its opening weekend is the same weekend as Wrestlemania. It will be free publicity in the coming weeks as The Rock and the media machine the WWE will promote the film on their programming each week leading up to the film.

    • Excellent point… The additional revenues alone from the WWE market would make the studio question their release date. The move makes sense, Wrestlemania Exposure with The Rock in the main event match, Another Superbowl Ad opportunity, A year to remarket their products (toys/movie). Get out away from the mega blockbusters of Avenger’s, Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, Amazing Spider-Man. GI JOE is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      The reasoning to post convert into 3D sounds like a good idea, yes people it does make additional revenue in the foreign market, in MOST cases almost double the US box office take, but I don’t believe it would take 9 months to post covert the film, I could be completely wrong though. So I see the advantage here.

      The expanded role or inclusion of Duke in the film, I can’t really see the studio exec’s thinking that would make that big of a financial improvement. Even with the success of 21 jump street, The Vow, and Magic Mike coming up, those are completely different markets than a GI JOE film. I’m sure they understand the advantage, but the demographics are different. GI Joe is targeting the 18-35 male market, and who are slightly more loyal to brand recognition. 21 jump street was a departure from the original subject matter, however funny, not a 21 jump street movie, so no loyalty to the original brand. The Vow, an excellent romance/drama, I felt Tatum performed well in this film, but not the GI JOE target audience. Magic Mike, again a more, female targeted movie. Why would studio execs decide to put an actor, who has success in female targeted movies, in a male targeted movie unless they believe it will draw them in. I feel that unless those women were excited to see the film anyway, my own girlfriend for one, it would be hard pressed to find a women that will all of a sudden realize Tatum is in the film more and feel she now has to see this film.

      I have to believe its the time and place, getting as far away from this jammed packed summer of fan boy fare, along with the additional marketing they can get from the WWE market and another year of marketing rather than this talk of 3D post conversion and inclusion of Channing Tatum that’s pushing RETALIATION to March.

      • I completely ignored the fact that this summer is oversaturated with blockbusters. A brand name like “Battleship” was a massive flop at the box office because it wasn’t named Avengers, Men in Black, or Dark Knight Rises. And would the studios truly think by giving Channing Tatum a top billing that he would sell this film? It’s preposterous. If anything, they are shooting a post-credits scene to show hey everybody, Duke survived. But the reason this film will be successful at the box office is that The Rock is the star. WWE is easily the best company in the world at utilizing social media to promote a product. Additionally, they can advertise for the film every single week leading up to its release. Furthermore, people probably forgot that this film was even coming out this summer. The WWE promoted the film prior to WM28 this past year and I was intrigued at the time. But since, the film has faded into obscurity and WWE stopped advertising for the film. Why not release the film at its peak interest? This report is pretty weak in that the author ignores the likely real reason for delaying the release. This is a film that people could wait for right now simply because it didn’t make their must-see list. In all honesty, the only people who know Channing Tatum by name are the members of the internet film community. Hell, people don’t have a clue who Tom Hiddleston is and will never recognize him sans-costume. This movie is Dwayne Johnson’s vehicle. And in all honesty people, why would you care if Duke wasn’t in the film? He was easily the weakest protagonist of the Joes in that last debacle.

  15. I’m unclear as to whether the Duke character is still going to be killed off, just that they are expanding the role prior to his death, or that they are reversing the original planned death, and splicing his now-live character into the later scenes. That sounds extremely unlikely and even dumber than the original reason. But if it’s the first scenario, then I think that is just as dumb. Again, how much more do they think they can gain by adding however minutes to Duke’s portion of the movie, when the same result will occur? They’re going off of the hope that someone who like Channing Tatum but wasn’t going to watch the movie will now go watch it. How many can that be? And how can it offset the cost and lost income?

    • yep, people still wondering why Chaning Tatum should be in the movie dont understand that is not the actor itself, is the character DUKE. Duke, Snakeyes and Scarlett is like not having Cap America, Thor, Iron man to Avengers, or not having Batman to the Dark Knight movies. I just can’t freaking understand how people can earn so much money, writers, actors and do no research at all on the property.

      Duke, Snakeyes, Scarlett must always be in GI Joe.

      I saw the previous and was hoping that Duke was not killed. Hollicrap things about actors who can bring audiences to the movies, in this case, Characters and story will bring the masses to the movie.

    • You are not allowed to kill off any main characters because they are popular with fans, right? This is just one reason many movies have bad stories. Please, stay away from script-writing so long as you hold this view-point. “Oh, no, this character is too popular to die.”

      Writers are supposed to care so much about what works and what doesn’t that they’re sadistic about it. They will tear out the readers or viewers hearts as long as it works. “They’re too popular/I like them too much” is not a sufficient reason.

      People made a big deal when _ died in the Avengers, and he wasn’t even a developed character, and not even really a main character. Maybe that was the point was that they took _ for granted, but I didn’t see it that way.

      BTW, I thought The Avengers was *okay.* I don’t understand why it is being hailed as one of the greatest cinematic works of all time. It was barely okay for a Marvel movie.

  16. …And I thought it was so they could re-write Ripcord into the storyline…he did so well. What a failure/joke. It’s sad that these are the best and brightest minds Hollywood has to offer these days. Names like G.I. Joe used to be all you needed because scripts/stories/acting was EXPECTED to be solid. Now the behind the scenes people seem capable of mucking up any franchise at any point. Sad.

    • Totally agree about bringing Ripcord back. Along with Scarlet and the rest. Don’t dump the characters people are fimilar with if they did a good solid job. Just write a better story.

  17. As others have said the reason we got lost week seemed fishy and off from the start but this is still pretty shocking.
    I’ve been following movie production since I was 16 and I can’t ever remember a studio stepping in 5 weeks before release to altar a movie this much. Re-edit? Sure but that’s usually done a while before release. Fire a Director? Yup, that’s happened many times.
    But to add scenes for a Actor that’s gained popularity is pretty crazy and also expensive as all heck.
    I’d love to hear examples of this happening before if it has but I’m hard pressed to think of any…

    • The only example might be if scenes had already been shot, then cut out, but then added back in, due to a bad or unexpected response from early tests. But that falls into the re-edit category. It’s one thing to do Peter Jackson style “pick ups” where they went back to re-shoot or add scenes after principal photography as part of a plan, it’s another to decide to do it after the film is supposedly in the can, and in a more-or-less final form.
      I think this is basically unprecedented for a big studio, big budget, summer blockbuster film.

  18. Story first, everything else after. EVEN WITH G.I JOE. Viewers should be able to go to a movie and say a) It was good/it transcended what it is b) It was good for G.I Joe/Transformers/x factor (good for what it is) c) It wasn’t for me, but it wasn’t bad, even for what it is. What you want to avoid was d) It sucked, but it had its moments and e) It was horrible.

    The story was looking pretty strong as it is. Yes, kill off the cast, give some characters that haven’t had much of a chance to shine a chance to shine, and explore undeveloped characters some more. Make the story push the action. Don’t worry about silly fans not wanting Channing to die in the movie. Does it work? Yes or no? Your job is not to give the fans what they want 100% of the time, because most fans haven’t a clue what a good story is. Sorry, guys. Your clue is to do what works, at the very least, for what it is. Then comes presentation of the story, then visuals, then sound. All the pieces have to fit together, but story HAS to be the basis, even in a movie that is SUPPOSED to be stupid (I don’t mean G.I Joe.)

    If people are only there to watch Channing, go watch The Vow. Eye candy with a bad story. I am assuming you are a female with a bad taste in movies who propogate the whole jerk who is really a good guy deep inside trend of romances. I don’t give a crap if the guy’s a soldier. I saw 10 seconds of the movie flipping channels. The character is a jerk. You don’t punch someone after they offer you a beer, man. That’s just not cool.

    Without a story that works, no matter how good a movie looks, sounds, how well the story itself is presented, even in terms of dialogue, don’t ever expect to end up with a decent movie, even if during the first movie the movie just HAPPENS to actually work with 3D and you almost crap your brains out despite knowing the story is garbage, and when you watch the movie a second time, you’re just like “Wow, this movie sucks ass.” (Tron: Legacy, anyone?)

    If any of you disagree with me, you have no right to complain about Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.


    • You can leave out insulting women in your next rant and maybe I’ll agree with you.

  19. Tatum was a crappy Duke anyways. They should still kill him off. I have faith that this G.I. Joe sequel will definitely be better then the first

  20. Perhaps they are now regretting the initial decision to kill of Duke and the other characters and go in the direction that they did.

  21. Wow this is ridiculous this was one of my most anticipated movies of the year but now it just sounds like a big flop

  22. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that Wrestlemania us that weekend and The Rock will probably be involved in it somehow.

  23. If they are delaying it by almost a year they should scrap the whole thing and redo it. Duke being killed off is a dumb idea. Whoever came up with that should be canned right away. Yes, Tatum was a bad Duke but still shouldn’t be killed off. That would be like killing off Frodo and having Sam take over Lords of the Rings. The studio hired the guy and now they have to either stick with him or find a replacement to play Duke.

  24. I wonder how much money the studio is losing with all the advertising and promos that have gone to waste…
    I mean, by next year none of the regular viewers will remember this movie, so they’ll have to start their whole marketing campaign over again.

    • your so right. i dont know WTF they doing. Channing Tatum only had two successful movies and thats just The Vow and 21 Jump Street that does not mean all his movies will be successful. this seems like Ryan Reynolds situation with the Green Lantern.

      • it got nothing to do with Tatum and everithing to do with the character he’s portraying, Duke, Snakeyes and Scarlett is like not having Cap America, Thor, Iron man to Avengers, or not having Batman to the Dark Knight movies. I just can’t freaking understand how people can earn so much money: writers, actors, directors, movie studios and do no research at all on the property.

        • im not talking about the character anyway they could of replace Duke with another actor. Channing Tatum in my eyes should never been Duke the first place.

          if they was smart they could of had Duke been kidnapped by Cobra and have Roadblock trying to rescue him instead of killing him.

  25. By the time this film is released next year, it’s going to have a radioactive stink of PLUTO NASH proportions attached to it!

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