‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Supposedly Pushed Back For More Than 3-D

It was definitely a bit of a shock when Paramount announced that “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” has been pushed back from a June 29 release date to March 29, 2013, but two new reports have come out making big claims that the release date changed for other reasons.

According to Deadline, the movie’s test screening supposedly did not go as expected. One of the main issues present was reportedly a lack of “G.I. Joe” leading man Channing Tatum in the script, and that’s something that Paramount is looking to remedy in reshoots. Spoilers after the jump.

Before getting into this further, it’s important to remember that all of this should be taken with a grain of a salt. Without official words from the studios, it’s hard to say what’s fact and what’s speculation.

Both Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter are saying that a major reason for the change of release dates is because Tatum gets killed off early in the movie. That explains why he’s rarely shown in the trailers for the flick and is noticeably absent from its movie poster. “Tatum’s character originally died in ’Retaliation,’ but it’s now possible he will be resurrected,” THR writes.

Keep in mind that “Retaliation” was written before Tatum blew up this year thanks to dual successes in “The Vow” and “21 Jump Street” (and, fingers crossed, “Magic Mike”). So now, according to Deadline, audiences are upset about the opportunity for onscreen chemistry between Tatum and Dwayne Johnson that was “aborted” preemptively because of Tatum’s early death.

So will he be brought back entirely, or just left alive longer? All of this is speculative and unofficial, but it does make sense. Another big reason it was pushed back is because of the way this summer is being cruel to big-budget blockbusters. “John Carter” and “Battleship” didn’t appeal to the masses, and both did poorly (all things considered) in the box office. At the same time, “Men in Black 3″ and “The Avengers,” which people have been looking forward to for years, trampled everything in their paths.

That means Paramount has to swallow a lot of money to hopefully make more money later on. The studio already bought the movie an expensive Super Bowl TV spot and started their physical marketing campaign, but now has bumped the movie nine months and lost all that momentum. It’s a gamble, but if it works, “Retaliation” will end up making a lot more money in the long run, and also be facing off against other movies in a less densely populated landscape. So far, “Jack the Giant Killer” and “The Host” come out the week before “Retaliation” and the “Evil Dead” remake comes out two weeks after, but it doesn’t have any competition opening weekend.

As for that 3-D? Well, it almost guarantees more sales. According to a source close to Deadline, people who saw the movie early were asking “Why wasn’t it going to be in 3-D?” The source said “We didn’t have time for it to be in 3-D,” but now they do. “Not being in 3-D will cost us a ton of business internationally,” the source said, and now Paramount is gearing up for a much strong 2013 with “Retaliation” added to the line-up.

Does this explanation for the changed release date make sense to you? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!