The ‘G.I. Joe’ sequel just can’t catch a break. Despite an expensive ad campaign that featured commercial time during the Super Bowl, an imminent line of tie-in action figures and a scheduled release date barely a month away, studio bosses at Paramount have just pushed the movie back… to March of 2013. Seriously?! I suspect that Cobra Commander is behind this somehow.
The road to ‘Retaliation’ has been a bumpy one. First off, there’s the obvious fact that the previous movie, ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra‘, is a steaming pile of shit. Regardless, it made enough money to justify a sequel. The prospect of that initially filled me with dread, but news that incompetent director Stephen Sommers had been canned from the project, and that the screenwriters of the very fun ‘Zombieland‘ had been hired to write it, left me perhaps cautiously optimistic.
Then came the bad news that block-of-wood Channing Tatum would return to star. On the other hand, new stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Frikkin’ Willis signed on and absorbed most of the spotlight away from Tatum. This is a good thing.
Next was the ambiguous announcement that the new director would be Jon Chu, helmer of a couple of the ‘Step Up’ movies and the Justin Bieber concert film. That didn’t sound too promising. But then Chu gave some interviews which suggested that he isn’t a total idiot, that he thought the first movie kind of sucked, and that he may even know a thing or two about the ‘G.I. Joe’ franchise. At this point, I was at least tentatively back on board.
What sealed the deal for me was the official trailer, which frankly I think looks pretty awesome and showcases a lot of genuine respect for the source material. Against all odds, I found myself actively looking forward to seeing the ‘G.I. Joe’ sequel this summer
So much for that.
The official explanation for the delay is that Paramount has decided to convert the movie to 3D. This comes as a surprise not just to fans, but to the film’s director, who had been talking excitedly about the movie’s June 29th release as recently as this past Monday. This decision is perplexing on a number of levels. Not only is it unusual to bump a film so close to its planned release, but the lack of ‘G.I. Joe’ will leave Paramount without a summer tentpole movie, and in fact without any “event” pictures budgeted over $100 million for the rest of the year. (The studio’s zombie epic ‘World War Z’ had previously been pushed back from December to next summer.)
I hate to say it, but the 3D conversion excuse sounds like bullshit to me. What I read into that is: “The movie’s having behind-the-scenes trouble that we can’t acknowledge in public.” I have a feeling that studio bosses saw a cut of the movie, weren’t happy with it, and want to impose major changes. Considering that these are the same people who signed off on ‘Rise of Cobra’, either that means that ‘Retaliation’ is really terrible, or that it’s in fact better than expected and meddling producers want to dumb it down to appeal more to moron teenagers. Frankly, the latter could be more likely.
Needless to say, none of this bodes well for the film.
[Source: The Los Angeles Times]