Channing Tatum asked to be killed in GI Joe: Retaliation

“I passed the first one on seven times, but they had an option on me and I had to do the movie,” Tatum said before leaving the title role early in the sequel.

If another Oscar season comes, “GI Joe” will be on everyone’s lips again.

After Chris Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s GI Jane resemblance (and Will Smith subsequently slapping him onstage at the Oscars), actual GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra star Channing Tatum reveals that herself he did not want to take part in the sequel “GI Joe: Retaliation”.

During a Vanity Fair polygraph test video, Tatum opened up about his time on the two films, starting with 2009’s The Rise of Cobra.

“The first [sequel] I folded seven times, but they had an option on me and I had to do the film,” Tatum said. “Well, the second one, I obviously didn’t want to do that either.”

Tatum noted that he asked to be killed within the first 10 minutes of the 2013 sequel GI Joe: Retaliation. Dwayne Johnson instead directed the follow-up film as Roadblock. Henry Golding starred in the 2021 reboot for the Snake Eyes franchise.

Tatum previously told Howard Stern that at first he wasn’t interested in starring in the GI Joe movie.

“Listen, I want to be honest. I hate this movie. I hate this movie,” the Magic Mike’s Last Dance actor said in 2015 (via The Guardian). “I was pushed to do this film. From ‘Coach Carter’ they signed me a three picture deal… They give you the contract and they say, ‘Three picture deal, please.’ And as a young man [actor], you’re like, ‘Oh my god, that sounds amazing, I’ll do that!’ Time goes by and you get other jobs and you make your offer and you have a dream job that you want to do. And the studio calls and they say, ‘Hey, we have a film for you, we’ll send it to you.’ And they send it to you and it’s ‘GI Joe’.”

Tatum continued on the studio system, “And I love GI Joe: ‘Can I play Snake Eyes?’ And they say, ‘No, you’re not playing Snake Eyes, you’re playing GI Joe.’ The script wasn’t good. And I didn’t want to do something that I’ve been a fan of since I was a kid and watched me grow up every morning — and I didn’t want to do something that firstly was bad and secondly I just didn’t know if I was GI wanted to be Joe.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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