Many people have found themselves working in jobs they hate simply because they are tied down by a bad contract and never took the time to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. They say lessons learned from experience are the most lasting, and Channing Tatum can attest to this.
In a recent interview with Vanity, the Magic Mike actor took a lie detector test and said that he hated being in the G.I. Joe movies and had turned down the role seven times, but to no avail.
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 do that one either.
Tatum had previously expressed his hatred of 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra on the Howard Stern Show, saying:
Look, I’ll be honest. I fucking hate that movie. I hate that movie. 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. 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.
Tatum went on to star in the 2013 sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but he requested the studio kill him off within the first ten minutes of the film, a decision he says he doesn't regret.
The G.I. Joe film franchise has continuously drawn criticism from both audiences and critics, despite having made over $650 million in total sales. Snake Eyes, a 2021 attempt to revive the film series, was a box office disaster that struck the final nail in the coffin after it made just over $40 million worldwide against a $110 million budget.
It's safe to say that Tatum dodged the bullet by dropping out of the G.I. Joe franchise. Unfortunately, Tatum also never got to work on his dream project after Disney acquired FOX and basically put the Gambit solo film on the backburner. If it's any consolation, audiences can look forward to watching Tatum reprise his best role yet when Magic Mike's Last Dance premieres on February 10.