When Paramount let slip last week that it was moving G.I. Joe: Let's Try This Again from its plum June 29 première all the way to March 29, 2013, the official explanation was that the studio needed that nine-month delay to add the 3-D that makes films visible to the modern eye. But surprisingly, there may be more to it than that suspicious, rash last-minute decision to undergo a costly conversion that has not necessarily been proven to contribute to a movie's success. Deadline did some typically self-congratulatory investigative reporting and discovered that, actually, the real reason is that test screenings for the film were "mediocre to bad," not least because the sequel chooses to [SPOILER FOR ANYONE WHO CANNOT INFER THINGS FROM TRAILERS OR GENERAL PLOT SUMMARIES] kill off Channing Tatum's character, a decision made well before Channing Tatum became among Hollywood's most marketable stars (though this was an outcome that, to be fair, only the most sophisticated crowd-sourced algorithms could have predicted).
Therefore, the film has now reportedly been "reworked" to increase its overall quotient of Tatum—in particular, to go with its added dimensions, some additional depth to Tatum's character's relationship to Dwayne Johnson's, which is the sort of thing that means the difference between a worthwhile G.I. Joe film and a hollow franchise sequel that treats its actors as living action figures to be posed holding various guns before being exploded, apparently. Now that last part may not even happen, as Deadline suggests a more ambiguous fate for Tatum's character, one that could provide the amount of Channing Tatum necessary to ensure this and any future G.I. Joe film's success. "But how will this affect the integrity of the sequel's already-promised, heavily marketed storyline?" asked no one.