‘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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  1. My friend, who follows WWE believes that the date change also has to do with the Rock’s involvement in the up coming months. Thusly giving him a lot of face time on both the small screen and big screen.

  2. The first movie sucked. Lets just agree on that. It looks like this one (currently) sucks. While Tatum isnt my favorite actor killing him off early in this one was a mistake (obviously). It would have been better to not have him at all. I still have hopes this movie will be better than the first just because of the director change but nothing I have read makes this 2nd outing anything better than a rental.

    • You must mean lets agree to “disagree” because NOT everyone thinks GI Joe (the first film) sucked. In fact 300+ Million dollars at the Box office (world wide) says it DID NOT SUCK. If you average that with a very conservative ticket price of $15 that’s 2 million people who paid to see it and the majority of those occurred AFTER its opening weekend; after the word was already out as to what critics thought of the film.

      NOT only did JI Goe take in box office sales double the amount it cost to produce but it had a longer then normal stay at the box office. As I’ve had to correct others on this same film, you are incorrect to imply that we should all agree it sucked.

      Yes I do personally like it and rate it higher then the average critic does but that’s not why I defend the film. GI Joe is the most recent of a series of target films that many for whatever reason believe that because they disliked the film so should the rest of the world despite its acceptable performance at the box office.

      Remember that just because you don’t like a movie that doesn’t mean the rest of the world should feel the same.

      • Dude, that movie SUCKED. Really badly. The only reason I saw it, and probably why it lasted longer than normal past opening weekend, was nostalgia plain and simple. A lot of people had been waiting to see a GI Joe movie but after seeing it I don’t know HOW you can defend it. To site $$$ earned as a reflection of the movie’s quality is ridiculous. Bad script, bad graphics, bad acting…. where’s the good? A lot of terrible movies have made a lot of money.

  3. Wait a second….. They are going to Kill off DUKE???? Ummm WTF Is Hasbro thinking letting this happen???? Duke is one of the biggest names in GI Joe to begin with. He is the ONLY one that has ever appeared in every single incarnation of GI Joe besides Snake Eyes!!! Along with They SHOULD have learned there lesson with the 80’s death of Optimus Prime.. Well actually they did when the GI Joe cartoon came out and the ORIGINAL plot was to Kill off Duke in THAT opening but because of the back lashing from the death of Prime they wrote in an injury instead of a death..

    This smells funny……………. Could the reshoot be the injury to Duke that he suffered at the hands of Serpentor in the Cartoon movie of the 80’s????


  4. This movie never looked like it would even be remotely good in the first place. Rise of Cobra was awful and this looked to be more of the same. I can’t say I’m disappointed about the delay, because I will gleefully skip this one come March 29.

  5. Stupid garden tools.

  6. So they push a movie back to add more screen time for Channing Tatum and possibly to convert it to 3-D. That’s like keeping a mediocre hamburger on the grill to let it burn some more…..

  7. Duke dies so that Dr. Mindbender can revive him along with Serpentor for the 3rd movie. Didn’t you read the comics?
    p.s. This movie had ‘home rental’ all over it after the first movie came out.

  8. I would have simply went back to the editing room, and make it look like the character lived, but is KO’d /injured for most of the film. That way, any re-shoots / pick ups could be done fairly easy.

    I wasn’t buying the just for 3D excuse either.

    That said, the previous film was 100% processed cheese. I can’t say if the sequel is better or not, but…mindless eye-candy action is par for the course, isn’t it?

  9. a local theater already has a standee for this movie and its supposed to stay up until August because the studio told them so. How stupid is that? to have a promotion up for 4 months and the movie does not come out this year? Does MGM have any say in all this? Even after the reshoots this movie could still be a mess.

    • Thank you Ben G.

      I thought I was the only one who liked it, reading all those comments.
      I watched it 3 times actually. I haven’t seen the comics. Maybe people didn’t like it because it made some mistakes there. But hey, I enjoyed it, and will definitely go see the sequel!

      Btw, I don’t like that Dwayne Johnson is going to be in it and the same with bruce willis. It’s a bit easy. “Oh we want to make a sequel, but make more money, let’s call some big names who are known for being badasses.” I just don’t like it..

      • You know what was the biggest mistake on Rise of the Cobra …Joseph Gordon- Levitt as (Cobra Commander) Big mistake it was so funny looking didn’t impress me at all and Dwayne Johnson (our action star of our generation) not a good choice? what are you smoking

      • so im guessing guys like sparkle pattinson and zac efron would have suited you better?

      • I liked it too. It had some problems and it’s a shame they’ve ditched Scarlett, Breaker, Baroness, Destro etc… Some of the designs were cool as well. However Stephen Sommers always manages to ruin everything

    • STILL cant kill of DUKE

      • my friend told me duke died in the original G.I. Joe so they were sticking to lore in away……but yes duke can die.

    • I really liked it too. Sure the character for cobra commander was weak, but other than that it was a fun movie and I was looking forward to the second – it looked to be even better.

    • Those who can’t stop applying their brains on every scene and can’t enjoy a movie for what it is — fun and simple — are the ones who really hate it. The ones who want every movie to be like the Dark Knight or Schindler’s List are the ones who hate it. They can’t for one second just enjoy a movie without pointing out flaws in them. So it was cheesy, so it wasn’t that good when it came to the story, but it was a fun movie!

      I’m a really critical guy myself, my friends curse me for criticizing too much in movies, but when it comes to movies like G.I Joe (or Sommers’ earlier movies like the Mummy series), i leave the critic inside me at the door. But not everyone can do that. And these same ‘critics’ liked the stupid Iron Man 2 with all its crass and sometimes cringe-inducing comedy, next to no action, and for wasting 2 hours with just talk, just because it showed Tony Stark’s ‘story’ and him making a fool of himself. -.-

      Sorry for the rant, nothing against anyone but I just had to say it. Let the backfiring begin…

      • Oh, and those who didn’t see their beloved G.I Joes get projected in the same way as they wanted, they hate it too. But can’t really blame those guys, as being a fan of something then seeing it get adapted badly does sting.

  10. can’t they see the formula the cartoon followed and go along, i am not saying copy the cartoon, but at least give some props to what it was. i enjoyed the first movie to an extent, just didn’t buy the late arrival of cobra commander and destro – including their weak masks.

  11. They are trying to make G.I. Joe look like a bunch of comic book superheros. They are not the Avenegers or X-men, they are a team of commandos and specialists fighting a terrorist organization with a bunch of henchmen and other baddies. They need to make it more like an Indianan Jones film or other action films. Instead they want the comic book feel whic wont work with this material. Let Larry Hama write a creen play and find a good director. The sequel looked better then the first one which sucked out loud.

  12. You never know… maybe the additions are just whats needed and it will be fun and ‘where it should be’. Nothing wrong with that. I bought a Ducati, it sounded ‘rough’ when I test rode it. The Shop Manager, (who also races) bought me lunch and when I came back to pick up the bike, it ran like a Superbike (as it should). So there is nothing wrong with a pre-test, providing that you can back it up with a better quality than when you started! All the best! ~ Stark

  13. Screw this whole bing on channing tatums character I just want to see things blow up!

  14. I thought it was outed a long time ago that Duke was killed off early in the film. And I thought that the studio did so because the fans said Tatum was horrific in The Rise of Cobra. Now the studio wants more Tatum because all the sudden he’s good now? I’m so confused…

  15. still pssed that it got pushed back

  16. f**k 3D !…Killing Duke ? that was gonna be a blow, he`s like Optimus Prime cant die

  17. I didn’t understand why they were bringing Duke back just to kill him off. He was in the first trailer for a second then never heard from again. Two very good and profitable Channing Tatum movies later suddenly Duke has more time in the trailer and has his own poster.

    That being said, if the movie kicked butt like we were all led to believe, then it could overcome Duke being killed.

    Also could this movie have a spot for TWO different Super Bowls?

    • Looks possible doesn’t it?

  18. Is it Thanksgiving? I smell a turkey cooking. Note: The first movie stank.

  19. so basically it’s the 1980’s all over again. They were going to kill off duke. They didnt like it so they changed it before released.

  20. Ironic and crazy Hasbro tried killing off Duke a second time. The 80’s animated movie Hasbro originally intended to kill off Duke. Because of the response children had though to Optimus Prime being killed off in the Transformers movie they changed it to Duke being in a coma. Love G.I. Joe and Transformers but sometimes the people that work for Hasbro have to be smoking crack or something. They don’t always make the best decisions.

  21. Thanks Niall for the followup on this GI JOE 2 fiasco. I hope the idiot at the studios that came up with the “Its to convert it to 3D” lame excuse gets fired if for no other reason then having such a “whatever” attitude towards the customer base; we the paying audience.

    That said I still am not buying this more recent and updated excuse. It very well could be that the trailer does not look anything like the film (that all the good parts are in the trailer and everything else is terrible) but I doubt it. The reaction of GI JOE 2 director “Jon M Chu” reinforces the stance that this still stinks of BS. I’ve got a feeling that in the end, after its gone thru its box office run and is released on DVD, at that point we will finally hear the real reason they pulled this BS stunt and I’m betting it will have something to do with politics just as was done with the RED DAWN remake that’s gotten bogged down in global political correctness with the Chinese government.

    I bet no one would have thought that letting another government, especially one like China, own so much of our debt would result in this kind of power play, being able to delay a major theatrical release and have the films antagonist (at least the Ethnic group of the antagonist) changed so as to not offend the foreign government.

    In the end this delay is NOT about Tatum Channing (one of the few thing about GI JOE that did suck amongst those of us who are fans of the film) nor is it about the Rock. Its going to be about making changes requested by government.

  22. CERTAINLY IS BIZZARE. I mean why? Given the reasons…still…why? I was actually ready to see this in June. The studios are f****** greedy as s***. I wouldn’t be surprised if this backfires on them come march 2013.

  23. This directer sucks if you ask me.

  24. WOW. Whatever is happening here is unprecedented (for better or for worse). I can’t think of other instances where a studio pulls the plug on a major blockbuster a mere month before its release, and reschedules it for 9 months later. And it was strange enough doing it in order to post-convert to 3D, but now they seem to be completely changing the storyline and direction of the movie last minute, just so they can get the box office presence of a guy who honestly isn’t that famous. I mean, most people know who he is, but he’s not a Tom Cruise/Russell Crowe kinda guy who draws in huge crowds.

    I know some people on this thread said that they’re not doing this to bring back Tatum, they’re doing it to bring back his character, who should NOT be killed off. Now, I never saw GI JOE rise of cobra, and I’m not familiar with the history of the franchise, but it does seem like a bad idea to kill off the main character in the beginning of the movie. It’s one thing if it’s a drama or something, but big blockbusters who make their money off of people who want to go to the movies and forget about life and just watch a fun action movie, should not try to be “risky” and kill off the main guy.

    So, it seemed like this was a whole big mess. (I say WAS for a reason). Being released in a summer where superhero movies seem to reign supreme (and Prometheus too), and a year where big-budgeted movies seem to have faltered short of studio expectations (There are 2 big Taylor Kitsch movies I’m thinking of. Coincidence? :)) And then killing off the main character at the beginning!

    Maybe it’s good that they’re taking a step back, regrouping, and then fixing the problems. They’re definitely going to lose money on all the millions they’ve spent so far on advertising, and the cost of redoing half the movie, but maybe it will be worth it. Maybe the 3D will be awesome and make the movie more enjoyable, and more importantly bring in more money. Maybe having Tatum back will bring more people in. Maybe redoing their advertising campaign, especially near Wrestlemania with the Rock advertising will make the hype huge. It also doesn’t hurt that the new release date isn’t surrounded by nearly as many big movies. (Are there even any? Does anyone know?) Or… maybe this will STILL turn out to be a huge mess. We will find out in March!

  25. you know, they should re-release the movie predator and renamed it to gijoe and rename all of the guys in the movie. Dutch=duke, billy=spirit, blain cooper=rock n roll with his mimi gun,hawkins=dialtone,mac=road block.

  26. About the sequel to Gi Joe. I personally don’t care about “3dementional effects”, I just wanna see the movie. When i first found out today (06/20/2012), I was like, wait a minute, i could have sworn that it was coming out on the 29th, what’s going on here?! Now, because more profit is being suggested, we have to wait a whole year…rediculous, but whatever!