Channing Tatum confirms that he requested “out” of G.I. Joe sequel

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:

Tatum_Confirms_Request

This movie comes pretty quick on the heels of the first one. Do you both avoid sequels?

Tatum: 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.

  • FMonk

    I doubt Tatum determined anything other than he didn’t want to play the role anymore. It was the half-assed decision of the writers/director/producers to kill off the character. It was a stupid move, no matter how you slice it, not to mention hackneyed and amateurish just like the rest of the movie. I mean, it’s not like Channing Tatum was so ingrained in the public consciousness as Duke he was irreplaceable in that role. The truth is no one outside of his fans/G.I. Joe nerds would’ve even noticed a different actor was playing Duke and even fewer would’ve cared.

  • rideintosunset .

    I know this might not be easy for Joe fans to hear, but being completely legitimately honest- The first G.I.JOE movie sucked. Sure a lot of people clammored around it because it was finally getting the big screen treatment and was good for the brand, but, ultimately, it truly was awful.

    Especially from a narrative standpoint. Damn, could people have at least purchased a copy of the comics that laid out the ground works of the universe in detail?
    I have this strange feeling the whole nannite debacle came from the need to explain Destro’s mask having moveable parts then proceeded to turn that into the overall .

    I’m not trying to to get emotional, and I’m trying not to rant.

    The series had a built in fan-base which surrounded a cannon universe. Sure some new iterations of the comics have tried to establish something new for a new generation- and not to the best effect- but the point is, there were a lot of familiar touch points the film could have utilized.
    Let’s take Darth Vader as a character touch point. He’s no longer Ani Skywalker. Instead he’s now a Gungan scientist who in an unfortunate lab accident needs a breathing suit in order to survive. Sure he is still a servant to The Empire, but instead of being a Sith, he’s just a guy in a hot pink suit, that’s it. There is nothing more to his character. He doesn’t hunt Luke or Leia, he just spends all his time in his lab, advising the Emperor in hopes of taking over the throne.

    So the questions: was there anything wrong with his original back-story? Did it truly warrant a complete rewrite? Did it even come close to improving his character?
    The answers are: no, no and no.

    The thing is, this revisionist paintbrush writers and directors try to use are honestly what’s wrong with properties like this.

    Cobra Commander was a threat not because he had a bunch of mindless nannite-infused people behind him, but because of the presence he commanded. He was a used car salesman. THAT was his power. He had the ability to SELL AN IDEA to people, one that they found themselves believing in. There were issues with the world, they were willing to take action and fight to correct it. Sure the animated series painted him more as a comical antagonist, but still, the idea of willing minds to fight for cobra was a much greater and nefarious threat than an army of organic robots.

    Why did it seem necessary to tie Duke, Baroness and Cobra Commander together? The viewer doesn’t care that they were dating, that CC was the Baronesses brother. If you wanted to show Duke riddled with guilt there were a million other ways to do it. In the end, Cobra didn’t seem like someone you take as seriously as you could. Why? Because its not an organization people believed it. They were just bad guys for the sake of being bad guys. there was no dimension, no chance at redemption and truthfully hit every mindless action trope on the head.

    Before anyone says that’s what it was, just a mindless summer blockbuster I have to ask, is that what we really think of this property? Three decades of story telling, history, plot of a universe we have come to love, why should we not care when they throw it away just to tell their own ridiculous story?

    Making a fanfiction or dio is something different. Having an officially licensed product designed to reignite interest in the brand for people who hadn’t even heard it before should-oh, I don’t know- actually have some aspects of the decades worth of branding thrown into it. Tossing familiar names into the pot and calling it G.I. JOE doesn’t make it G.I. JOE. There is no cohesion between it and the rest of the universe. its giving people an interest to look into something that doesn’t exist outside of this movie. How is that supposed to bolster the brand?

    I understand that you can add new things, you’d be stupid not to, but that’s not what I’m arguing. My complaint is that they proceeded to rip the house out beyond its foundations and work with the dry patch of earth where it once stood.

    Even if you wanted to do something different with the brand, how about throwing out something for the people that grew up with it. I’m not talking fans, but anyone out there who has even a small recollection of what G.I. JOE is. This means adding uniforms similar to the original characters. How hard would it be to have a blue suit CC, or even a blond duke? What about a baroness without a gaudy bedazzled belt? A destro with a iron mask for most of the film, or God forbid, an actual hood or helmet for CC? If you find the originals to be cheesy, that’s fine. You have 3 DECADES worth of design material to pull from. This would at the very least get the nostalgia gears going in our heads which name alone and black suits can’t do.

    Throw in a Terrordrome, or a flagg, asps or stingers, Failing to do this, why not get the hasbro team to modernize the costumes for you like they have been doing amazingly with the toys. You don’t need to totally revise a property in order to give it new legs. a solid story, dimension to its characters and faith the original plotline can hold up itself is good enough.

    Look at Marvel, pulling from the comic storylines, taking various ideas and tweaking them slightly but still holding on to the heart of the matter.

    G.I. JOE retaliation I feel was a desperate attempt to try and make something that didn’t work to go back on the right track. Unfortunately, this too fell apart and while it was better than the first it felt incredibly small scaled, unfaithful, and just utterly ridiculous.

    I understand Cobra has had foolish ideas before, but they were mostly cartoon based. Why, as a terrorist, would you just blow up London. Just like that. No remorse, no hard feelings, no consideration for the economic fallout?

    The U.S.A just attacked its own army. clearly no further questions should be raised on the matter. President said they were terrorists, so that must be so. Meanwhile we hang the Cobra Flag from the white house rooftop and NO red flags are going of in their heads, such as why would we be hanging a “defense contractors” flag in the first place above the Nations Capital?

    I just feel that even if they wanted to go that route, they could still have taken it seriously and added dimension and nuance to the characters. Let’s not just write the most iconic characters out of the script. Lets not turn CC into a one dimensional- Gimme you’re country or I’ll destroy it- villain. Nuclear weapons isn’t the only arsenal any of these people have. kill a world leader and the chain of command follows next. Destroy the world and you will have nothing left to rule over.

    You can use the chase scenes or the explosions or anything else that you think kids would like, but that doesn’t stop you from making an intelligent film or a smarter script. And surprise, surprise, you can still sell a ton of toys while generating a new fanbase and appeasing your built in one. Honestly, The film seemed like an Unofficial die Hard sequel.

    I don’t blame him for wanting to leave, I just hope that the next film is more constructive and still retains something from the mythos. It needs more than name alone and it was nice to see more elements carried in. I just wished it was less mindless, because despite what some may say, that’s never been what G.I. JOE was about.

    Sure it could be argued G.I JOE has had many variations and themes, but are we really willing to accept this scripted mess of an origin story as something we want uninitiated masses to take away from this property?

    I’m just saying it had a lot more potential, guys.

  • Jester

    Sure the animated series painted him more as a comical antagonist,
    but still, the idea of willing minds to fight for cobra was a much
    greater and nefarious threat than an army of organic robots.

    Even then, the failure of his plots was more frequently the fault of his subordinates than his own.

  • Scott

    Really? I thought it was great, no big heroic save the universe moment and then death. It was just like it is in the real world, as they say with bullet, addressed to occupant. Anytime.

    And on top of it, Duke was the main title shot in RoC, as well as darn near ever-present for decades as sort of the face of GIJoe. It’s almost like killing off Superman, except, in GIJoe, Snake Eyes is Superman. So….

    It was great move, it got that old mold guy out of the way, too. Hopefully it’s the last we see of Joe Colton, too, the OLDEST GIJOE EVER, who sees more action than anyone and everyone younger than he.

    Now there’s opportunity to bring in some fresh blood and maybe the reign of the “faithful homage” fans, owners, creators, movie people, whoever, can get some good, fun, adventurous, etc, etc, things happening with live action movies.

  • ARROW

    GIJOE…….has always been dumb. The animated series is probably the greater exposure that most people have had to the property, with the comic second…….and those two things essentially construct the media presence for GIJOE. The toys have very tacked-on story aspects to them, the file card aren’t really anything but superficial window-dressing.

    The cartoons and comics both have their very silly points, and some pretty lame writing and stories, and that blight is more common than not.
    As for really iconic stories……well, there’s nothing in either that would make for a good feature-length movie, so the films had to a hodge-podge of different elements woven together.
    Really the thing that most of the non-GIJOE literate populace takes away from GIJOE is the PSAs at the end of the cartoon, and far more prominent are the PARODIES of those.
    So what GIJOE REALLY is, is dumb. It’s a joke………..it’s NOT Black Hawk Down or some “serious” military drama.
    It’s a really flimsy, broad military fantasy, with clichéd villains and heroes, and a hopeless morass of tacked-on backstory for the characters.
    The movies…….well, out of necessity, had to cut through all that and contrive something that could make sense and be told inside of 2 hours or so, AND still hit the major story structure points without confusing an audience.
    GIJOE, as a live-action movie, was never going to have any kind of gravitas to it, and still be “GIJOE”. There’s really nothing more to it than that.

  • Justmythoughts

    Really this is ALL Hasb-low’s (I mean Hasbro) fault. They let Rise Of Cobra get out of hand. Snake’s “vow of silence”?????? CC being related to the Baroness, etc. But this comment is in response to the obvious ridiculousness of Channing Tatum’s comment. While being interviewed for reprising a character in a sequel he says he doesn’t like doing sequels? Is the easier money less spendable the 2nd time around? OR is he really scared that his reputation will be tarnished because of his costars recent use of the ‘F’ word?
    G.I. Joe 3 should be a real reboot like Retaliation should have been. They can keep the cast as cast and just pretend the first 2 movies never happened. Get a new Duke, Scarlett, get Destro, Baroness back, etc. The CC cannot or ever have been Rex, etc. And don’t name toss like “Dr. Mindbender” and “Zandar”, use those characters.