The G.I. Joe franchise hasn’t had it easy on the big screen. The 2009 movie was, frankly, awful. But 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation was tremendous fun, enhanced by Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, a Bruce Willis performance where he almost looks like he wants to be there for a few minutes, and an absolutely brilliant multi-colored ninjas-on-a-mountainside stunt fight that showcased Snake Eyes in all his glory. That alone is worth the price of admission.
But despite that, G.I. Joe 3 is taking its time getting off the ground. In the meantime, Paramount isn’t about to sleep on this franchise, though, as there’s a G.I. Joe spinoff movie focusing on Snake Eyes currently in production. Yes, the dreams of every ’80s kid will be fulfilled when we actually get a Snake Eyes movie.
Robert Schwentke will direct Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. He will work off a script by Evan Spiliotopoulos (Beauty and the Beast, The Huntsman: Winter’s War), who was tapped back in May. Schwentke comes to the table with experience from two entries in the Divergent YA film franchise, Insurgent and Allegiant, Bruce Willis-headlined, sequel-spawning hit actioner RED, TV-reboot-bound sci-fi romance movie The Time Traveler’s Wife, and, perhaps notoriously, R.I.P.D., the flopped Ryan Reynolds/Jeff Bridges Men in Black-esque afterlife buddy cop actioner. His last effort was 2017 WWII drama The Captain.
In the latest news on the Snake Eyes movie, star Henry Golding took to Instagram on the occasion of his birthday to post the very first image from the film. As you can see just below, Golding’s serpent-christened title character is clearly in Japan, seen from behind draped darkly with blades at his side, likely in the midst of his ninja training.
Snake Eyes Movie Cast
Henry Golding, that’s Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding, will play Snake Eyes. Something tells us they won’t hide Golding under a mask and burn makeup for the entire movie. Don’t be surprised if this is a Snake Eyes origin story, allowing the actor to, you know, actually show his face. He has been handed the Snake Eyes baton from previous portrayer Ray Park (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, X-Men), who played the lines-deprived role completely under the cover of a signature black mask in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and 2013’s G.I Joe: Retaliation.
Andrew Koji landed the co-starring role as Storm Shadow. This is a major coup for the British actor, who effectively showcased kung fu skills and exceptional swagger as the star of Cinemax series Warrior, which quickly landed a second season renewal. He also fielded appearances on American Gods and Call the Midwife.
Storm Shadow – a white-clad ninja and former U.S. Army Spec Ops – whose real name is Thomas Arashikage, is one of the franchise’s most popular characters (save for Snake Eyes himself). Byung-Hun Lee portrayed him in the previous big screen iterations, 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and 2013’s G.I Joe: Retaliation. The character debuted in 1984 in the G.I. Joe toy line and Marvel comic, initially as an agent of Cobra and rival to Snake Eyes due their mysterious shared past. However, Storm Shadow’s arc, both in the toy line and the Larry Hama-headed comic book, would undergo quite the evolution, eventually joining the good guys.
Iko Uwais (The Raid) will play Hard Master, the accomplished swordmaster who serves as Snake Eyes’ teacher. After breaking out to Western audiences in 2011’s The Raid, The Indonesian actor has also starred in Headshot, Stuber, and Netflix’s Wu Assassins. In the G.I. Joe continuity Hard Master runs the Arashikage Clan and trains both Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. He serves as the catalyst for both men to join their respective organizations, G.I. Joe and Cobra.
Samara Weaving will play Scarlett, a.k.a. Shana M. O’Hara, who was the lone female among the 1982 original lineup of G.I. Joe’s shrunken revival toy line, manifesting as a counter intelligence operative known for her red hair, signature crossbow and formidable combat skills. In the context of the film, the role is most likely a romantic one, since Snake Eyes (played here by Henry Golding,) and Scarlett are known to share a special bond, especially after (as depicted in the Marvel comic,) he rescued her from a burning helicopter, leaving him (in his signature state,) with a scarred visage and damaged vocal cords. The role of Scarlett was played by Rachel Nichols in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
The Scarlett role is the latest high-profile acquisition for the Aussie actress, Weaving, whose starring role in this past August’s comedic horror film, Ready or Not, ignited a lot of momentum. She’s also part of the main cast for the 30-year-in-the-making threequel, Bill & Ted Face the Music, fielded TV runs on Showtime’s SMILF and Amazon’s Picnic on Hanging Rock, and appeared in the 2017 drama, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Snake Eyes Movie Release Date
The untitled Snake Eyes G.I. Joe spinoff movie is now scheduled to fight for freedom wherever there’s trouble on October 23, 2020.
Snake Eyes Movie Story
Let’s think about the ways this movie could go. We could get a detailed Snake Eyes origin movie, one that also ties in plenty of Storm Shadow for good measure. Or it could just focus on an already established Snake Eyes and maintain the mysterious awesomeness of the character. The question is, how much will the studio gamble on a lead character who never speaks?
But surely everyone will be happy if the climax of the movie ends up being a tribute to “Silent Interlude,” which was a story by Larry Hama from the vastly underrated G.I. Joe Marvel Comics series of the 1980s; a title designed to flesh out the story of Hasbro Toys’ 3 3/4″ relaunch of the iconic military line. A good chunk of Snake Eyes’ mystique began right there, in a comic story told entirely without dialogue, as Snake Eyes mounts a single badass assault on Destro’s castle. Make this happen, Paramount!