‘G.I. Joe 3’ Is Caught Between The Rock and a Hard Place
In a hundred years from now, when some bespectacled historian sits down to write the story of the G.I. Joe film franchise, the first sentence he’ll write will be, “Why did Paramount Pictures want so badly to get rid of Channing Tatum?” Then he’ll underline that sentence about a hundred different times, crinkle the whole page up into a ball, and throw that ball back into his desk drawer. In hindsight, he’s got a lot of movies to write about and it wasn’t the brightest idea to start with G.I. Joe.
Considering the history of bad decisions and poor reviews that came out of both G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, you may be surprised to hear that Paramount Pictures is trying to get production started on a third movie in the franchise. As usual, it comes down to money. Variety reported that G.I. Joe 3 had been given a green light all the way back in March of 2013. This was on the heels of an impressive $375 worldwide gross, a marked improvement at the box office from the first film (despite a smaller budget).
Unfortunately, there is a downside to all of this: when you hitch your wagon to the most in-demand movie star in Hollywood, you have to wait and see when he’s got time for you. According to an LRM interview Storm Shadow actor Byung-hun Lee (via Collider), Paramount Pictures is waiting to see if they can fit their movie into star Dwayne Johnson’s incredibly busy schedule. Here’s the quote:
I heard from the studio that there’s a possibility to do the third one, but I think they’re waiting for the actors’ schedules. They’re arranging the schedules for the actors, especially Dwayne Johnson.
Johnson was the highest-paid actor in 2016, which is both good and bad. His international appeal means that any movie he stars in can turn a tidy profit at the box office, but his tireless work ethic — with upcoming movies that include Fast 8, Jumanji, Doc Savage, and more — means that fitting another G.I. Joe movie into his busy schedule may or may not happen anytime soon. It’s not a popular sentiment to feel bad for a movie studio, but I kind of feel for Paramount Pictures here: they have one of the biggest actors in the world committed to their movie and have to sit and watch as studios like Disney and 20th Century Fox churn out sequels one after the other. Five years between movies is an eternity in the modern blockbuster climate.