One of the more surprising bits of news recently was Paramount moving their anticipated GI Joe: Retaliation from its hyped June 29 release back to March 29, 2013 with the announced intention to convert the film to 3D in an attempt to make it even more appealing to overseas ticket buyers. It seemed like an odd decision for a studio to make so late in the game, but a tweet from star Dwayne Johnson seemed to confirm it when he said that there was even going to be some reshoots to take more full advantage of the 3D.
Except that might not be the entire story. Deadline is reporting that the studio has ordered reshoots that will add more scenes of actor Channing Tatum and change a part of the film’s storyline by making sure his character doesn’t die in one of the opening scenes of the film.
While Tatum was the star of the first GI Joe film in 2008, he didn’t have the star power that he has now thanks to roles in The Vow and 21 Jump Street. When director John Chu envisioned his take on the franchise, it didn’t seem to include Tatum, and he was scheduled to be offed in the film’s opening sequence when the US military, under control of an evil Cobra agent masquerading as the President of the United States, attacks the Joes.
However, it turns out that one of the few positive responses that the film got from test audiences was over the short scenes between Tatum and Johnson’s characters. And The Avengers notwithstanding, this summer has been fairly sift for big tentpole films. It is certainly understandable that the studio would want to up the Tatum-quotient of the film if it would insure a few more sales at the box office. And hopefully that will at least offset the amount of money that the studio is now doubling down with for the reshoots.
And while fans are probably disappointed at the nine month wait, it is really hurting retailors who now have boxes of GI Joe toys taking up space in warehouses rather than being on store shelves available for sale. However, Deadline is reporting that Paramount and its producing partners probably won’t be feeling a similar financial pinch.
Will the gamble pay off? We’ll see next March, I suppose.