Channing Tatum Rejected G.I. Joe Role 7 Times Before Getting Killed Off In Sequel
Channing Tatum really hated, hated, hated G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Channing Tatum hated G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra so much that he rejected it seven times. Yes, seven. That’s how much he despised the role.
In a lie detector test for Vanity Fair, Tatum said if it weren’t for the contractual obligation, he would have sat out playing Duke in the 2009 toys-inspired actioner, which also starred Lee Byung-Hun, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Sienna Miller.
“The first one I passed on seven times, but they had an option on me and I had to do the movie,” Tatum recalled. “So the second one, I obviously just didn’t want to do that one either.”
Clearly, he didn’t want to be in it and finally got his wish in the sequel, 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation — also known as the one directed by Jon M Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), and starring Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis — where his character was killed off in the first 10 minutes.
This is the first time Tatum has publicly expressed his contempt for The Rise of Cobra.
In 2015, Tatum went on record in an interview with Howard Stern to slam the movie.
“Look, I’ll be honest. I f***ing hate that movie. I hate that movie,” Tatum said then. “I was pushed into doing that movie. From [the 2005 Samuel L Jackson-led sports drama] Coach Carter, they signed me to a three-picture deal…They give you the contract and they go, ‘Three-picture deal, here you go.’ And as a young [actor], you’re like, ‘Oh my God, that sounds amazing, I’m doing that!’ Time goes by and you get other jobs and you’re building your quote and you have a dream job you want to do. And … the studio calls up and they’re like, ‘Hey, we got a movie for you, we’re going to send it to you.’ And they send it to you, and it’s G.I. Joe.”
Why didn’t Tatum want to do the movie? “The script wasn’t any good,” he told Stern. “And I didn’t want to do something that I… was a fan of since I was a kid and watched every morning growing up — and didn’t want to do something that was, one, bad, and, two, I just didn’t know if I wanted to be G.I. Joe.” (FYI: Tatum actually wanted to play Snake Eyes.)
The Rise of Cobra was critically panned but still managed to make a respectable US$300 million (S$397 mil) worldwide. It received six Razzie nominations, winning Worst Actress for Miller. Retaliation was equally reviled but did better commercially, with global earnings of US$375 million. The franchise was revived in 2021 with the Henry Golding-fronted Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, which, sadly, warmed up to neither fans nor critics.
Tatum’s latest movie, Magic Mike’s Last Dance, opens in cinemas on Feb 9. Watch his full lie-detector interview here:
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos