It wasn’t quite a shockwave, but the news that Paramount was pushing back the release date on its planned sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation sent a decent-sized ripple through the online film community.
The movie was shifted a full nine months -- from June 2012 to March 2013 -- prompting fans to question what could be wrong with the film? And on a related note, what does this mean for the future of the franchise?
Paramount’s initial explanation was that it changed its mind regarding releasing G.I. Joe in 3D, and now wanted to take the time to retrofit the finished film so that it would perform better in international territories (where 3D films play very well).
But news continued to break throughout the day today that the film actually needs reshoots, with Retaliation star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson confirming on Twitter that the cast and director Jon M. Chu are “designing new scenes to enhance [the] 3D.” There’s also a rumor out there that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been asked to return to the franchise and revive the role of Cobra Commander. (He played the evil villain in the first Joe film.)
If I had to guess, I’d say that we only know 50% of the story. Studios certainly don’t want to get in the habit of pumping the brakes on a multi-million-dollar summer-movie franchise when they are weeks away from release.
At the same time, if something wasn’t working on the film, I want to give Paramount credit for realizing that, and taking the necessary – but painful – steps to fix it. G.I. Joe fans might be upset that they have to wait nine more months for a sequel. But wouldn’t you rather have a studio put a blockbuster on hold to fix its problems rather than releasing a “broken” feature that’s not worth your valuable time and money?
Fandango and Movies.com editor Erik Davis invited me on his Movies Chat to discuss all of the questions swirling around G.I. Joe: Retaliation now that the film’s release date has been bumped back. On this podcast, we talk about the future of the franchise, the decision to upgrade to 3D, the need for reshoots, and our hopes that Paramount simply delivers a fun rollercoaster ride come March.
But I also want to hear from you. Was Paramount wise to delay G.I. Joe: Retaliation for a 3D post-conversion? Would you rather they just kept it in 2D and released it on June 29, as promised? And if the film needed patching up, aren’t you happy the studio pumped the brakes, rather than asking you to pay for an inferior product?
This feels like a very rare case, with a studio shifting a release date on a major motion picture barely one month away from the day it’s supposed to reach theaters. But if it results in a better G.I. Joe film, I’m all for it. Are you?