At the time of G.I. Joe: Retalation‘s production Channing Tatum’s career was in a bit of a slump, 21 Jump Street and other box office hits hadn’t been released. Tatum and only a handful of cast members were asked to return for the sequel, however it looked like Dwayne Johnson would be relied upon to continue the franchise for Paramount. That was later confirmed when Duke was seemingly killed off in early trailers for the sequel. The film was later delayed an entire year to add more special effects and reshoots (adding more Duke scenes), as Tatum became more sought-after during this time, it seemed the studio regretted the original decision to kill off his character.
Paramount might have left the door open for Duke’s return, as director Jon M. Chu commented on the possibly of the Joe returning for G.I. Joe 3 to MTV. Like Chu says, nothing seems to be set in stone with this franchise, but I would assume since his popularity has returned adding Channing back into the fold wouldn’t be hard to imagine.
You never know. Storm Shadow died in the first one and came back in the second one, and then other characters have died and never come back. The G.I. Joe world, the best thing about it is you never know who’s coming back and who’s not.
A script is currently being written by Evan Daugherty, who previously wrote Snow White And The Huntsman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reboot. Jon confirmed to Collider that both Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis would be returning, and was also open to the idea of a crossover with the Transformers franchise, something that has been rumored for a while now.
Another character that deserves a second shot is The Baroness, what they did with Sienna Miller was beyond wacky, fixing that issue (including recasting) should be a priority as the villain is one of the most popular characters in the franchise. Considering they rebooted Cobra Commander for the sequel, the studio could easily do the same for her. I believe recasting the role is also in order, some actresses that could be great for Baroness in my opinion include Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Centurion, Oblivion), Berenice Bejo (The Artist) and Carice van Houten (Valkyrie, Game of Thrones, Black Book).
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