Joseph Gordon-Levitt Will Not Return for G.I. Joe 2

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 9:27 pm,

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.

Joseph Gordon Levitt The Doctor Joseph Gordon Levitt Will Not Return for G.I. Joe 2

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

TAGS: Gi joe 2
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  1. Boo!! But not surprising. I honestly don’t know if I want to see the movie now. IMO, JGL’s performance was the best part about the last movie.

    • I don’t really understand the point of even making GIJOE2 now. The first one was great campy fun in the spirit of the old cartoon. They took good time to establish the characters and an overarching story to go forward with, and if they essentially just reboot it again with a differant tone, why associate it with the GIJOE property at all? They should just start a new Action franchise with new characters.

      • My complaint really is they’re getting rid of all the characters, but Duke, Storm Shadow, and Snake Eyes, but you can’t have a G.I. Joe movie w/o Cobra Commander. That’s like having Transformers w/o Megatron.

        • Don’t forget Zartan, The Baroness, Destro among others.

        • Couldn’t agree more. It was Mr Levitt’s performance as the Doctor and Gobra Commander that made me want to see a sequel. The first one builds up to him finally donning the iconic, albeit modified face-plate and establishing his position as Commander of the Gobra army. And now he’s not even going to be in the sequel? Do Paramount have retarded monkeys working for them? If you went into the Paramount offices I’m certain you’ll see wax grayon drawings and finger paint on the walls, along with signs saying “Do not give our employees and sharp objects”

      • I must not have seen the movie you were talking about, the one I watched was badly acted, terribly written and had plot holes the size of the moon in them. Not to mention that they couldn’t even get the costumes remotely right.

        • It was supposed to be a tongue in cheek action movie and it delivered on that point. What plot holes are you talking about?

          Plot seemed very cartoon like and very straight forward. I could see you saying the plot was cliche or possibly boring, but plot holes? Don’t think it got that complex.

        • Also, as far as costumes go, I also think they did a pretty good job. Unless you use the cartoon as gospel, each subsequent wave of GIJOEs occasionally switched up the costume of the character. In fact, the newest wave of GIJOEs matched the movie JOEs to a “T”.
          I mean, we tolerated the XMEN movies where everyone had all black costumes, or at least I didn’t mind.
          Putting costumes aside, I think they also captured the essence of a lot of the characters identifying traits…
          *Storm Shadow/Snake Eyes (Ninjas in white and black)
          *Scarlet had red hair.
          *Baroness had her funky glasses.
          *Destro got his metal face.
          *Zartan had a plausible way to tranform his identity.
          *Gen. Hawk had his beret.
          *Duke and Mr. Wayans were the Generic Joes and comic relief.

          I would think we could all do without the pink laser blasts coming out of there weapons.

          I was really hoping we’d get more of the same, because I really enjoyed it for what it was….A modern campy, cheesey, action movie that was over the top and paid homage to the old tv series.

          If they want to reboot this thing, just make another movie that isn’t JOE. I don’t want my JOEs to be serious and heavily character driven.

  2. I’m glad that he has extricated himself from the G.I. Joe franchise. Now he’s only in the superior Batman franchise.

  3. Maybe recast Cobra Commander, idk.

    • I really hope they recast Sgt. Slaughter

  4. Let’s recap where this current movie sits right now:
    1. Want to reset the tone of the movie.
    2. Trimming the cast to 3 original actors, one of which is presumed dead (Storm Shadow).
    3. Recasting or cutting Cobra Commander potentially. Uggh….the main opposing force of GIJOE.
    4. No story continuity since they will not be persuing Zartan infiltrating the government and the introduction of Destro as Cobra Commanders right hand man. Also, Sienna Miller is not confirmed, so both Scarlett and the Baroness leave the “sexy” factor out of the movie already.

    What is the point of GIJOE2 again???

    • Like the points! Well said !

      • very well said :-)

  5. It’s amazing they can take a cartoon from the 80′s that was campy to begin with and somehow actually dumb it down……..

  6. HUGE MISTAKE on the studio part. They got by (OK) with the first film, which showed some promise, but honestly, this film and budget needs to get bigger and better so we can really get some quality CGI, action, actors in character etc. If they want to kill the franchise now, why bother making a 2nd film with cheaper CGI, no quality actors and supporting cast, and budget. Sucks when you leave it up to the suits to decide doesn’t it!..

  7. personally i did not like gi joe… even before i knew it was levitt playing the doctor in the last film, i thought whoever played him was the best thing out of that film. seriously everyone’s acting was just horrible

  8. they COULD put anyBODY in a cobra commander costume, the problem will be in the acting or potrayal of the character. if we as fans of the gi joe saga can’t relate to him, then it will be wrong. i hope the studio the actor and the director have a real understanding of the character, and we know they don’t.
    i don’t mind them trimming characters, there are hundreds of other characters to use, stalker, spirit, roadblock, major bludd, shipwreck, wild bill, the b.a.t.s.,
    i say they don’t want the big salaries of the same actors/actresses.

  9. well he wouldnt have gotten all these other roles if paramount didnt take a chance on him playing such an iconic villain, so if its up to him he should go out of his way and reprise his role as a hometown discount

    • Sorry JBM but that’s wrong. If anything, this film was one of JGL’s low points. I don’t agree with cutting him if that’s what happened but I certainly don’t think this *made* his career.

  10. If it’s a mini-reboot, that’s cool with me. The first was campy fun but I would like to see more of Cobra, since they have risen. Cobra Commander can be recast as should all the roles excluding Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow…you know what, if they just want to have a movie with Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow fighting, I would be cool with that.

  11. They could actually easily get around Levitt no being able to act as the character. Just go the Darth Vader route. Get another actor to act as the character, then have Levitt dub his voice over in post-production. The problem is them just excluding the character altogether, which makes no sense.

  12. Maybe he saw how horribly awful the first film was and thought “God never want to do that again” and decided to try and stick to making good films rather than GI Joe Crap.

    • Hahaha I wouldn’t doubt it! I enjoyed the film for what it was but I don’t want to see him waste his talent on a mediocre film.

  13. Can we see nemesis-avenger?

  14. I don’t blame him the movie was Lame

  15. Bet you any money that theyes are recasts and not cast cuts. besides dose it really matter that he is not coming back? he was great in the background story as Rex but when Rex becomes The Doctor/ “Cobra” he was obviously Re-Dubbed with some one who has a evil sounding voice. So at this point he isn’t even needed.

    • Hate to burst you bubble, but The Doctor’s and Cobra Commander’s voice was NOT redubbed. They may have enhanced it slightly, but that’s all they did.

  16. No big loss, I liked JGL under the name “The Doctor” or even prefer him to call himself the next Dr. Mindbender but he sucked as Cobra Commander imo, especially the way that character way played out at the end., Not just him but Destro aswell. Storm Shadow, Zartan & even Baroness were better as the villains within the film than those two.