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This story actually came out a couple of days ago, but got kind of lost in the shuffle of the big action figure reveals.  Entertainment Weekly recently published a story with some attention paid to G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and they’ve posted a nice interview on their website as well.

I will admit, most of the back and forth banter is stuff we’ve heard (and read) before, but it’s still great to see some more mainstream publicity for the movie sequel.

The most telling quote is this one:

“Channing Tatum returns from the first one, as does Jonathan Pryce. So there are some plot connections between The Rise of Cobra and Retaliation?

Yeah, sure, sure. There are some plot connections with the first and the second. I’ll tell you this: Out of great tragedy often emerges new leaders and, through a great tragedy that takes place with the Joes. New leaders emerge.”

Johnson does seem to indicate a bit more that perhaps Duke is destined for an uncertain fate in this film, though, as he puts a strong focus on Roadblock taking over the “leadership” role of the team.  That does seem to be a strong emphasis throughout the interview.  While it obviously doesn’t confirm any rumors about Duke in the film, it certainly doesn’t dispel them either.

Check out the full interview right here.