I know the rumors were flying after the delay of G.I. Joe: Retaliation that seemed to focus on star Channing Tatum. Without a doubt the focal point of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Tatum’s popularity has exploded in the years since then, and with rumors circulating around his demise in the sequel film, many inside sources claimed to have knowledge that this delay would also include significantly more Tatum.
I never bought it.
Considering the star actor’s shooting schedule and the requirements it would take to bring actors and crew in to shoot significantly more footage of him, I just couldn’t see how they would manage to do all of that, all while converting the film to 3D over a period of 9 months. It has always been my suspicion that the sequel might feature different footage of Tatum, but would not necessarily feature more. I’ve always said I thought they might recut the film or tweak it, or perhaps add just a short bit of new footage perhaps to show that Tatum was not killed, but it was pretty unrealistic to assume they would squeeze in a lot more footage among the rest of the story.
According to producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura this assumption is right on target. He spoke with Crave Online, and mentioned that while there was a little bit of new shooting involved with the new cut of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Tatum will not appear in the film much more than he originally did. His exact quote was:
“It’s not much different,” Di Bonaventura says. “Literally, we shot for three extra days. We just added sort of explanation in what we did afterwards.”
Which does make sense. You can’t just bring in a single actor and shoot new scenes to broaden his scope in the film. It would involve the whole cast and crew and significantly more time and resources. The producer also said (speaking about whether the delay was to add more Channing Tatum to the film):
“No, it’s not,” Di Bonaventura says. “That is a complete rumor. I don’t know where that started. Literally, Channing shot for – if I have it wrong, I’m off by an hour – four hours, five hours? So it wasn’t really about that at all.”
I won’t argue that they likely reconfigured the film a bit to make it look as if Duke did not get killed as they originally planned…but as Di Bonaventura says, I believe the final film we see in March is not going to be vastly different from the one we would have seen in June…aside from the 3D.
Check out Crave Online for the full interview.