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Channing Tatum Begged to Be Killed Off in ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’

"The first one I passed on seven times, but they had an option on me and I had to do the movie," Tatum said before exiting the titular role early on in the sequel.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation”


Come another Oscar season, and “G.I. Joe” is on everyone’s lips again.

Following Chris Rock’s quip at Jada Pinkett Smith’s “G.I. Jane” likeness (and Will Smith subsequently slapping him onstage at the Oscars), actual “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” star Channing Tatum reveals that even he did not want to partake in its sequel, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

During a Vanity Fair lie detector test video, Tatum talked about his time on the two films, starting with the 2009 “The Rise of Cobra.”

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

Tatum noted that he asked to be killed off within the first 10 minutes of the 2013 sequel, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.” Dwayne Johnson instead led the follow-up film as Roadblock. The 2021 reboot for the franchise, “Snake Eyes,” starred Henry Golding.

Tatum previously told Howard Stern that he had no desire to star in the “G.I. Joe” movie to begin with.

“Look, I’ll be honest. I fucking hate that movie. I hate that movie,” the “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” actor said in 2015 (via The Guardian). “I was pushed into doing that movie. From ‘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.'”

Tatum continued of the studio system, “And I love G.I. Joe: ‘Can I play Snake Eyes?’ And they’re like, ‘No, you’re not playing Snake Eyes, you’re playing G.I. Joe.’ The script wasn’t any good. 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.”

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