Channing Tatum Really, Really Didn't Want to Make Those G.I. Joe Movies

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Channing Tatum Dwayne Johnson G.I. Joe Retaliation
Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson in "G.I. Joe Retaliation." (Paramount Pictures)

Channing Tatum is coming off a big year in 2022. He starred in, produced and co-directed the outstanding military working dog feature "Dog," which would be up for a slew of awards if Hollywood paid more attention to what the people like. He also co-starred with Sandra Bullock in the hit "The Lost City" and made a cameo appearance in Brad Pitt's action picture "Bullet Train" after Pitt made a brief appearance in "The Lost City."

He's now promoting "Magic Mike's Last Dance," a movie that's being touted as the final film in a series that's based on Tatum's own early days as a male stripper. That movie will be in theaters on Feb. 10, 2023.

We're a lot more interested in another job from Tatum's long-ago past. Tatum played Duke in 2009's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," a movie that was designed to launch a military action franchise based on the beloved 1980s cartoon series. That movie has inspired two sequels, 2013's "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and 2021's "Snake Eyes." Neither has generated the kind of box office that ensures a future for "G.I. Joe" in the movies, but each one has its fans.

As part of the promotion for the "Magic Mike" movie, Tatum agreed to sit down with Vanity Fair magazine to take a lie detector test about his life and career. The interviewer jumps right in with a dicey question about "G.I. Joe," just two minutes into the actor's test. "Did you ask to be killed off in the first 10 minutes of the sequel?"

"Yes," he answers quickly. Then comes the followup question: "Do you regret that choice?"

"No....The first one I passed on seven times but they had an option on me and I had to do the movie. So the second one, I obviously just didn't want to be in that one, either."

The guy who's administering the test rules that "he's telling the truth."

You can watch the entire Vanity Fair video below:

Some online research suggests that Paramount Pictures had an option on Tatum because they'd first cast him in "Coach Carter" with Samuel L. Jackson and then signed him to the kind of three-picture deal that young performers often sign when getting their first break. He then had to make "She's the Man" with Amanda Bynes before finishing off the deal with "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."

Between "The Rise of Cobra" and Duke's death in the opening scenes of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," things took off for Tatum. He starred in the hit comedy "21 Jump Street" and became a big box-office draw after the success of the first "Magic Mike" movie. He followed up with "White House Down," and his career hasn't slowed down since.

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