Following a number of critically acclaimed performances in films such as Inception and (500) Days of Summer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has become a go-to name in the studio-system. 2012 is already expected to be an enormous year for the actor – who will be seen in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Rian Johnson’s sci-fi action film Looper, as well as the David Koepp thriller Premium Rush.

However, one 2012 film that will not see Gordon-Levitt on-set will be Jon Chu’s G.I. Joe 2.

Two moths ago Rachel Nichols, aka Scarlett in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, turned to Twitter to express her frustration over Paramount’s choice to trim the enormous (and star-studded) cast of the first film in preparation for G.I. Joe 2. At the time, it was unclear whether or not the insight was definitive – as Paramount could have simply cut some of the lesser-known Joes but were still trying to find a way to work key characters in.

One such character, which had essentially been set-up as the baseline for a G.I. Joe 2 was Gordon-Levitt’s “The Doctor” but speaking with Collider, the actor confirmed that he will not be returning for the sequel.

Check out the video below, which also sees Gordon-Levitt talk about Inception, Hesher, Rian Johnson’s Looper – as well as dodges a question about his role in The Dark Knight Rises. Speed to the 3:55 mark for the G.I. Joe 2 confirmation:

Gordon-Levitt is definitely brief in his dismissal of a G.I. Joe 2 return – though it’s left unclear whether it was the actor’s own choice or Paramount’s decision. As mentioned, a lot has changed for the Inception-star in just two short years and there’s no doubt that he’d require a hefty fee, as well as a lot of scheduling gymnastics, to reprise the roll of “The Doctor” – at a time when Paramount is actually attempting to substantially trim production costs on the sequel. Technically, given the direction of the character at the end of G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, coupled with Chu’s interest in a down and dirty film, there’s little reason why the studio would even need Gordon-Levitt to return – even if they intend to continue with his character.

Similarly, Gordon-Levitt has substantially better offers on the table right now – so, even if the studio put a dump-truck full of money in front of his house, it’s hard to imagine why he’d be interested in reprising his Joe-role.

G.I. Joe 2 will be directed by Jon Chu and is on-track for an end of summer 2012 release with, if Nichols turns out to be right, only Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, and Duke returning.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what you’d like to see them do with Gordon-Levitt’s character in the sequel.

G.I. Joe 2 hits theaters on August 10, 2012.

Source: Collider