Whatever Cobra have planned in GI Joe: Retaliation, it better not involve anything perishable. Paramount's action sequel was initially due out last August, but was shifted back nine months without much by way of explanation. The reason for the delay, the scuttlebutt had it, was to exploit Channing Tatum's new-found popularity and get more of his character, Duke (and his abs), into the storyline.
Not so, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told Crave Online. “No, that is a complete rumor,” he says. “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.”
Interesting stuff. By the look of the movie's first trailer, Duke wasn't going to make it through the first sequence, and reading between the lines, he still isn't, although those reshoots may at least keep him alive for a possible reappearance in part three.
According to di Bonaventura, there's been a total of three extra days of filming since the delay was announced, hardly enough for a substantial story overhaul. More important for producer and studio, perhaps, is a 3D retrofit that should boost the movie's takings in those increasingly important overseas markets. Who knows, maybe it just needed an extra ninja or two?