G.I. Joe 2: Retaliataion has been bumped from its initial summer 2012 release to next March. According to the initial reports, this was in order to allow a conversion of the film to 3-D – a strategy particularly helpful to studios betting heavily on foreign markets. However, now we are hearing that this is also to allow reshoots expanding Channing Tatum's role in the film.
Given that the first G.I. Joe film (The Rise of Cobra) was a marginal performer (far from becoming another Transformers, its global gross fell short of the $300 million mark), the conversion to 3-D, and the launch of the film in the normally less competitive March slot, appear quite reasonable decisions – especially if the version of the film the studio has on its hands now seems unpromising. But the logic behind the reshoots, which will probably havoc with an already weak story (if the first film was anything to go by) simply to enlarge Tatum's role seems much more questionable. Tatum's performance in the first film was, of course, execrable – conspicuously bad despite the repleteness of the film with poor performances, and the film's having the kind of script, action and special effects that ordinarily make things like decent acting irrelevant to a film's success. In fact, it was one of the things fans disliked most about the movie, so that the producers originally had his character killed off early in movie number two. Reversing that decision in the hopes of capitalizing on his "star power" is likely to backfire given not just the bad will Tatum earned among the film's built-in audience, but the ever-more tenuous quality of star status, and the fact that the kind of heavy, preposterously favorable coverage of a celebrity Tatum is getting (as it is, I'm sure he's already landed on many a "never want to hear about them again" list) makes a backlash a question not of "if," but "when."
So Far This Summer . . .
New and Noteworthy (Battleship, Skyfall, Superheroes)
New and Noteworthy (Avengers, "The End of SF"-Again, Fringe Renewed)
The Matarese Circle – Coming to a Theater Near You?
The Irrelevance of Oscar Night?
Coming This Year: Genre Movies in 2012