Was there another reason for the mind-boggling delay of sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation?
The recent announcement that the film, originally-slated for June 29 would be shifted to March 29, 2013 was originally attributed to Paramount's desire to convert the film to 3D. While that reason still remains solid, there was apparently another reason, and it has to do with returning star, Channing Tatum, who plays Duke.
It seems that the way the character was handled this time around, along with his fate, left test audiences not feeling so "Yo Joe!" about the film.
Warning: Spoileriffic Material Below!
As far as the 3D conversion goes, an insider tells Deadline that it will only add $5 million more to the film's $125 million budget. (I'm guessing they're getting it done at Walmart?) However, it appears that this huge gamble may not be just to add an extra dimension, but to change the context of the film itself.
It's certainly no secret that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's character of Roadblock has been the most prominent part of the hype surrounding the film. One might have thought that the spotlight had shifted from Channing Tatum's Duke, who was the main protagonist in 2009's The Rise of Cobra. However, his return was intended to be brief and after a few scenes where Duke passes the proverbial baton to Roadblock, Duke was reportedly killed-off.
However, a lot has happened since that was decided; namely the rising star of Channing Tatum. With hits like The Vow, Haywire, 21 Jump Street, and the upcoming Magic Mike, he is a now bankable commodity. Thus, more scenes with Tatum and Johnson have been shot (perhaps with more on tap?) to possibly nix Duke's death, but, more importantly, put more Duke in the film, creating a tighter "buddy" dynamic with Roadblock, similar to the one he had with Marlon Wayans' Ripcord in the first film.
It's a similar situation to an attempt to kill Duke off in the cartoon series back in 1987 in G.I. Joe: The Movie. The character was not originally supposed to survive being impaled by a snake spear from villain, Serpentor. However, in much the same way, it seems that outside forces could be taking the grinning First-Sergeant off the chopping block.
There were no doubt other reasons for the delay, namely the shellacking that some big-budget monsters like John Carter and Battleship have been taking at the box-office. With summer 2012 looking to provide some of the toughest competition ever, no doubt, this was a reprieve from a potentially-similar box-office disaster.
Nevertheless, the delay has left fans befuddled, and even director, Jon Chu was allegedly left "shellshocked." (I'm not sure if that's a pun.)