Once thought to be a Hollywood meathead and lady-moviegoer eye-candy, Channing Tatum has become of one the industry's most sought-after actors - across a wide range of film genres. Self-deprecating comedy roles (This is the End), sci-fi fantasy (Jupiter Ascending), nuanced drama (Foxcatcher) to action heroics (White House Down), Tatum has proven that he's got more to offer than good looks and big muscles. Not all of his films have been hits with audiences and moviegoers - but it's become increasingly hard to blame Tatum for his part in the underperformers.
In spite of his model background, the actor is pretty earnest about his journey through Hollywood, even utilizing his time as a stripper to develop the original Magic Mike. However, years before Magic Mike wooed female filmgoers and open-minded male cinephiles with a clever setup, fun comedy, and a scene-stealing performance from Matthew McConaughey, Tatum was the star of Paramount Pictures' live-action G.I. Joe movie The Rise of Cobra - a movie the actor gutted in a recent interview.
"I'll be honest, I fucking hate that movie. I was pushed into doing that movie. From Coach Carter, they game me a three picture deal as a kid ... They give you the contract and they say, ‘Three-picture deal, here you go.’ And as a young [actor] you’re thinking, ‘Oh my god, that sounds amazing. I’m doing that!'”
Tatum may have mixed feelings about the experience, critical of the final product as well as how it attempted to recreate the fan-favorite cartoon, but remains grateful for exposure the film provided:
“It was right during the writers strike. It was G.I. Joe. And I loved G.I. Joe. And I said: 'Can I play Snake Eyes'? And they said, 'No, you're playing Duke.' ... The script wasn’t any good … I didn't want to do something that I was a fan of. I watched it every morning growing up as a kid and I didn’t want to do something that I thought was 1) bad and 2) I didn’t know if I wanted to be G.I. Joe.
But, I could have been given Scream 5 or something, so I'm super lucky and blessed to have been given that film.”
Yet, Tatum's ill-will toward the first movie didn't stop the actor, coupled with the contract obligations, from appearing in G.I. Joe: Retaliation (briefly) to aid in transitioning the series over to a new face - Dwayne Johnson. Unfortunately, Retaliation received a similarly frosty reception from critics (while earning even less than the original). Paramount still has plans for G.I. Joe 3, which currently is scheduled to be helmed by D.J. Caruso; however, given that Tatum has moved on to bigger (and more rewarding projects), there's little reason to think that Duke will have, somehow, survived his death in Retaliation and that Tatum will return to the series down the line.
Even if Tatum is done with G.I. Joe, he isn't adverse to franchise filmmaking. In addition to his work in the 21 Jump Street series, plans for Gambit, not to mention voicing Superman in The Lego Movie, Tatum was also in talks for a male Ghostbusters (alongside Chris Pratt) - before it was announced that Paul Feig had been given a green light to Ghostbusters. Former Ghostbuster Dan Ackroyd has suggested that a shared Ghostbusters movie universe could be developed - one that, potentially, includes Ghostbusters 3, the female Ghostbusters, and Tatum's spinoff team of male Ghostbusters.
Tatum is less convinced, indicating that, as far as he knows, Sony is waiting to see what happens with the female Ghostbusters before moving ahead with any other corners of the franchise:
“That thing’s gotten messy. I gotta be honest, there’s a lot of people doing a lot of things on ‘Ghostbusters.' I don't know ... I would love to do it. There's a lot of people in the Ghostbusters pool right now.
I think we’re in a bit of a gestation period. I mean, that’s a beloved movie by a lot of people, and then there’s a lot of people that never saw the movie. I really think it's a half-and-half. As soon as they hear it's happening, half the people go 'Ah, what the fuck? No. They cannot make that movie' and 'Oh yeah, I would love to see that. We're nowhere near going [on the male Ghostbusters]."
Considering Ackroyd's recent comments, Tatum's suggestion that there are a lot of people trying to do a lot of different things with Ghostbusters seems pretty accurate (as is his perspective on half-and-half hate it/love it fans). As a result, even though many viewers remain skeptical about what Feig is going to deliver with his female Ghostbusters, especially after the recent (zany) set photo leak, it's encouraging to hear that, for the time being, the studio is focused on one film - rather than racing to build Ackroyd's proposed spinoff/sequel universe.
That all said, plenty of fans will stay hopeful that Tatum eventually gets to suit up as a Ghostbuster - given the likable balance of comedy and heart the actor injected into the Jump Street series, especially. Longtime fans will, similarly, remain hopeful that Sony will find a way to bring back Ackroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson for a proper sequel (while others hope the studio just leaves the entire franchise alone). Either way, it's hard to dismiss that watching Tatum, teamed with some of his action-comedy collaborators, face down supernatural spirits and demons could be very fun.
Magic Mike XXL hits theaters June 26, 2015.
The female Ghostbusters movie will release July 22, 2016.
Source: Howard Stern
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