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Tim Walker

Tim Walker: Hang on, let's rewrite the ending

Tales From The Water Cooler: I could understand if it was Matt Damon getting bumped off. Or Ryan Gosling. But Channing Tatum?

If you thought Battleship looked over-plotted, and Avengers Assemble a bit too wordy, then perhaps you were looking forward to the June release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. How disappointing it must have been, therefore, to learn that this sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, starring Bruce Willis and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, has been delayed, at the very last minute, until March 2013.

Paramount Pictures, which has already spent vast amounts on its G.I. Joe marketing campaign – including a Super Bowl commercial and a range of toys – announced that the film was being put back so it could be converted to 3D, in the hope of boosting its potential box office takings. The studio was spooked, it said, by the year's big flops, John Carter and the aforementioned Battleship.

This week, however, Hollywood bloggers have revealed another reason for the postponement: apparently, test screenings for the film scored somewhere between mediocre and bad, because the character played by Channing Tatum got himself killed in the first reel. So, along with the 3D conversion, the studio is reportedly reshooting long sections of the movie, and resurrecting Tatum for the duration, or near enough.

I suppose I could understand if it was Matt Damon getting bumped off. Or Ryan Gosling. But Channing Tatum? I mean, I wanted Goose to survive in Top Gun. Would that have made it a better film? Obviously not.

But this is the barminess of contemporary Hollywood. With all the money that'll end up being spent between now and March on reshoots, Tatum toys and even (maybe) another Super Bowl ad, you could probably make five Ken Loach movies, at least. And chances are G.I. Joe: Retaliation will still wind up being a bust.