Tuesday, December 18, 2012

GI Joes: Reassassination

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is set to come out soon. Again. It was about to come out this past year, but they delayed it by months at the last moment, ostensibly to convert the entire fricking thing to 3D. Early test audiences, though, suggested it might have been because the movie was at that point a huge steaming pile.

Originally, Marlon Wayans and Channing Tatum, protagonists Ripcord and Duke from The Rise of Cobra, were killed in the first 20 minutes of the movie along with 98% of the Joe team, thus instigating the Retaliation part of the movie.

Channing Tatum since became a huge success late this year, after releasing 21 Jump Street (a guys' comedy) and Magic Mike (a chick-flick schlick-fest). In between he also starred in a wildly successful Nicholas Sparks adaptation and the equally unrealistic–yet in this case based-on-truth–The Vow. Unsurprisingly, Tatum is now featured prominently on the new poster and in the new trailer for Retaliation, very much alive, and has reportedly filmed a few "updated" scenes. You know, like a whole new plot.

The funny thing is, this isn't the first time Duke has been saved from the cutting room floor.

In 1987, G.I. Joe: The Movie was released by Hasbro, following the original animated Transformers movie, in which Optimus Prime drove off to that great big parking lot in the sky. Duke, it was decided, was going to bite the big one as well. However, after getting shot and "dying," fans were pretty violently outraged.

So when Duke got shot, the script was quickly rewritten to include dialogue about Duke being "in a coma" and–I shit you not–at the very end of the film, as the Joes defeat the forces of Cobra-La and cheer, a character reporting they have heard through off-camera radio transmission that "Duke's awake!"

"Scarlet, I need you to know … that I've always … loved … Bob's Big Boy."
"And … GO NAVY!…"

You know, you think one Lazarus act should be enough to convince a studio not to kill a character, but they had to unkill Duke twice. At least Optimus came back within the same movie this time. Sheesh.

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