Tuesday, January 15, 2013

G.I. Joe Producer Denies Duke Rumors

"I'm not dead yet, y'alls!"
We're now just under three months out from G.I. Joe: Retaliation hitting theaters after it's extended delay to ostensibly add some post-produced 3D (and, supposedly, rescue Channing Tatum's character of Duke from an early offing). Brian Hall and I even got into this a bit two episodes ago on the MovieFilm Podcast. Well, we now have word from producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (who shepherds the big screen Transformers franchise in addition to Joe) via an interview with Crave Online, and he's ready to throw cold water on the whole "more Channing" conspiracy theory. Per the producer:
“That is a complete rumor. 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.”
You'll notice, he doesn't specifically dispute whether the reshoots at least partially involved flipping Duke from "dead" to "not dead." Four, five hours seems long enough for an epilogue with Dwayne Johnson's Roadblock and Duke downing brewskies as the latter convalesces following a near-death experience in the early goings that waylays him for the bulk of the action. That would let them skate by with minimal tinkering for this flick while still keeping Duke (and Tatum, still under-contract) available for Joe 3. Makes sense to me, but I guess we'll all find out when G.I. Joe 2 makes its much-delayed, 3D-infused debut March 29. 

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