If the ensemble franchise that is G.I. Joe has a main character, it would be Duke, the field commander of the elite military team. While other characters may be fan favorites (like ninja Snake Eyes or red-head hottie Scarlett), Duke tends to be considered the leader of the team and the glue that holds everything together. Needless to say, it’s exciting news to hear that the character may have finally been cast for the upcoming G.I. Joe movie, and while it’s a name that’s sure to disappoint some people, the rumored person will bring in a draw that could reach people not interested in the original cartoon or toys.

According to AICN, actor Channing Tatum has been cast as Duke. Previously considered a contender, the site says the actor has been signed and that trades should receive a press release in the next day or two.

I know Channing Tatum will bring in the teenage girls who have been drooling over the actor in movies like Step Up and She’s the Man, but I’m not confident about the youth’s ability to pull this off. Duke always struck me as a more experienced leader – a character who (according to his fictional biography) turned down promotions to stay in the field. He’s a fighter, not a bureaucrat, but he’s that way because of the experiences that have shaped him. At 27 years old, Tatum seems a little young to pull that off.

As a whole this cast seems very strangely mixed. Tatum joins Sienna Miller, Ray Park, Rachel Nichols, Marlon Wayans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje among others. I can’t figure out from the casting what direction they are trying to take the film. Some of these actors will want to make these characters their own. At the same time, they are extending a franchise that holds a lot of preconceived notions. Can the filmmakers behind G.I. Joe balance things out and deliver a movie that long-time fans will want to see, as well as the teenage flock of Tatum fans?
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