Just a week ago, Paramount announced plans to bump this summer’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation to next March–a delay the studio claimed they would use constructively “to do a conscientious 3D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally,” which made some sense, because studios do indeed love charging people more for 3D tickets. But what if I were to tell you that was all part of a massive cover-up meant, as one insider put it, “to not reveal the Tatum of it all”? Then it’s kind of funny, isn’t it? Because who says that?
According to sources who talked to both Deadline and THR, Paramount’s delay has less to do with 3D than it does with fear that their movie is sort of bad and, in a film first, needs more Channing Tatum.
Though the trailers for the G.I. Joe sequel have made it look marginally better than its predecessor, evidently the film is not testing well with audiences, who have reportedly been giving it scores ranging from “mediocre to bad.” The one part test audiences did get behind? The faint tendon of friendship that initially connects the muscles of The Rock and Channing Tatum. Unfortunately, Paramount didn’t know anyone would like that part (this was before The Vow and 21 Jump Street made Tatum’s dumbfounded look so recognizable), and, as it’s cut now, the film sees Tatum die almost immediately. Spoiler.
Seeing how Retaliation would be going up against Magic Mike, which has arguably too much of Channing Tatum, and The Amazing Spider-Man, which has Spider-Man, the studio decided it best to do reshoots with more Tatum, make it 3D while they’re at it, and save their film until next year, when it can be released with less competition and severely deadened expectations. As for why studio executives previously stated the delay was entirely due to 3D conversion, they’re just embarrassed to admit how much they like Channing Tatum’s belly muscles, okay?