Channing Tatum has previously gone on record as hating starring in 2009’s GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, so it’s not too surprising hearing the actor’s recent revelation that he’s tried almost a dozen times , not to star in the film. Tatum took a polygraph test for Vanity Fair and said he tried to pass “The Rise of Cobra” seven times but was forced to star in the Paramount tent pole.
“I passed the first one on seven times, but they had an option on me and I had to do the film,” Tatum said. “Well, the second one, I obviously didn’t want to do that either.”
Tatum confirmed that he asked to be killed in the first 10 minutes of the 2013 sequel GI Joe: Retaliation to avoid further attachment to the franchise. Did he regret that decision? “No,” he said bluntly.
“Listen, I want to be honest. I hate this movie. I hate this movie,” Tatum told Howard Stern of the first GI Joe movie. “I was pushed to do this film. From ‘Coach Carter’ they signed me a three picture deal… They give you the contract and they say, ‘Three picture deal, please.’ And as a young man [actor], you’re like, ‘Oh my god, that sounds amazing, I’ll do that!’ Time goes by and you get other jobs and you make your offer and you have a dream job that you want to do. And… the studio calls and they say, ‘Hey, we have a film for you, we’re going to send it to you.’ And they send it to you, and it’s GI Joe.”
Tatum continued, “And I love GI Joe: ‘Can I play Snake Eyes?’ And they say, ‘No, you’re not playing Snake Eyes, you’re playing GI Joe.’ The script wasn’t good… And I didn’t want to do anything that I… had been a fan of since I was a kid and watched it grow up every morning – and I didn’t want to do anything that, firstly, was bad, and secondly, I just knew not if I wanted to be GI Joe.”
The Rise of Cobra received negative reviews from critics, but grossed just over $300 million at the worldwide box office. The sequel, headlined by Dwayne Johnson, fared better, grossing $375 million worldwide. An attempt to revive the GI Joe franchise was all but wiped out in 2021 with the release of Henry Golding’s Snake Eyes. The film made just $40 million worldwide, a dismal result even with the pandemic at play.
Watch Tatum’s full lie detector interview in the video below.