When it was first leaked that Duke might pay the ultimate price in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, there was much speculation that this was on the request of Channing Tatum himself. His star had risen dramatically since he appeared in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and the prevailing thought was that he didn’t want to be tied down to the second film. However, throughout all the interviews leading up to the film’s debut, he seemed to debunk that thought and said that Duke’s death just made sense within the context of the story.
Many had their doubts.
Turns out those doubts were spot on, as Channing Tatum spoke with Entertainment Weekly to promote 22 Jump Street and confirmed his own distaste for doing sequels in general:
This movie comes pretty quick on the heels of the first one. Do you both avoid sequels?
I try not to do them. I did not want to be in the sequel for G.I. Joe.
You die almost immediately in it.
Hill: He’s like, “just kill me in the first five minutes”.
Tatum: “Go on without me, I’m good.”
While I have my own internal commentary for an actor that would determine the fate of a childhood cartoon hero to many merely because he doesn’t want to play the role, I think Paramount could have worked around the issue themselves with some creative re-casting.
All that being said, it is interesting to see the truth finally revealed. That would confirm that a Duke resurrection for G.I. Joe 3 (at least with Tatum in the role) isn’t happening. Thanks to Andrew Hall of the G.I. Joe Discussion Group on Facebook for the heads up.
As many of us suspected, the rampant rumors of a Channing Tatum “Duke” revival were taken somewhat out of context during an interview with upcoming G.I. Joe 3 director Jon Chu. In speaking with Coming Soon, he elaborates on his comments a bit:
CS: I’ve heard rumors that you’re trying to figure out how to bring Channing Tatum to “G.I. Joe,” which may be tough, considering he’s dead.
Chu: It all gets carried away again. They asked me about Channing and I don’t know. You never know in these movies, and that’s all I said, and suddenly it became “Channing Tatum might be back.” To me, every possibility is open and we’re writing the script right now and we’re figuring everything out. It’s an extremely low possibility when you kill somebody like that, it’s pretty much it, but you never know with “G.I. Joe.” We did that with Storm Shadow, too.
So as we can all see, don’t necessarily anticipate a big Tatum return.
Perhaps the more interesting discussion about G.I. Joe 3, though, revolves around filming for the upcoming motion picture:
CS: Is that something you might be far enough along on that you’ll be shooting next year? Or is it too early to tell?
Chu: I think we’re going to be shooting next year. We’re pretty motivated to get that up.
So, a mere 2 years after filming for the second film we’re going to be immersed in the process of filming G.I. Joe 3? Yeah, I’ll take it!
While I’m still pretty hesitant to believe the hype behind a possible return of Channing Tatum as Duke to the G.I. Joe film franchise, director Jon Chu certainly doesn’t dissuade the interviewer from making that proclamation in a recent interview with MTV News.
The short interview and article is low on details, but high on buzz words and speculation, which is totally cool with me this soon in the process. It mentions that Chu and new script writer Evan Dougherty are hard at work nailing down the script, which Chu promises takes the franchise “to another level”.
Now, to Jon Chu’s credit, when asked about Duke’s potential return, he only says “you never know” and uses Storm Shadow’s return as an impetus for fueling more speculation. It’s a smart move, as Tatum’s name is an automatic headline generator. We’ll see what happens as we get closer to production.
Kudos to the eagle eyes of Skinny from Serpentors Lair who stumbled upon a great amount of G.I. Joe: Retaliation related videos on YouTube. These videos have been uploaded to the B & H Film Distribution YouTube channel and contain some great interviews and some really awesome behind the scenes battle sequences.
This is really some great stuff, everyone should check it out. There are a number of videos, so I’m going to post them all after the jump, but you should check them out, for sure.
Over at MovieFone we have another G.I. Joe: Retaliation clip featuring Duke! Channing Tatum’s character has been somewhat elusive and the source of many questions over the past few months, so it’s interesting to see an entire clip focused purely on him. There is some cool new footage scattered throughout, though.
EDIT: Some script problems were killing the MovieFone Clip. Here’s a clip straight from Paramount International of the gun scene:
If you want to check out the MovieFone one, with additional Tatum-speak, hit MovieFone.com.