Over the decades, the deadly ninja commando known as SNAKE EYES has largely remained shrouded in mystery, but the upcoming movie will peek behind the character’s iconic mask in a big way. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will star Henry Golding in the title role, but as we saw in the recent trailer, not only will we see his face throughout the film, but he’ll also…speak! Sacrilege, I know.
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While breaking down the trailer for Empire, Snake Eyes producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura explained why it was finally time to fully explore the character, which meant going back to a time before the incident that led to Snake Eyes’ injury.
Snake Eyes has been this great enigma, so getting underneath the mask presented an interesting challenge for us and also an opening that no one had any real preconceived biases towards. And it’s different from the Joe movies, it’s different from comic book movies. This movie owes more to the samurai film tradition or the Hong Kong film tradition than it does to the way we’ve been constructing these action pictures. It offers us a way into a character that no one had ever seen. And honestly, part of that came out of the fact that it was a struggle to shoot with Snake Eyes before, because he could never talk! By starting before he has problems talking and before he’s hidden, it just allows you into the character in a way that I don’t think you very often get.
Speaking of Snake Eyes’ injury, di Bonaventura said that will have to wait until the next movie, “if we’re lucky enough to make it.” What wasn’t negotiable this time around was the appearance of the character’s iconic mask and suit. “To make a movie with Snake Eyes in it and not have him in the costume? We would’ve gotten killed by the fans!,” di Bonaventura said. “The question was, how to have the most fun with it. This was the exploration of the human, not the guy in the suit, in a sense, so we hold back the suit until he’s earned it as a character.” I wonder if we’ve already seen the end of the film with that suit shot. “One of the things we love about Snake is how enigmatic he is,” di Bonaventura added. “And it seems to be a moral code from the guy who doesn’t speak, but you don’t understand what it is other than experience it. Now you get a chance to see what the building blocks are, and hopefully that will make people want more Snake.” In addition to Henry Golding, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins also stars Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Samara Weaving as Scarlett, Úrsula Corberó as Baroness, Iko Uwais as Hard Master, Haruka Abe as Akiko, Tahehiro Hira as Kenta, and Peter Mensah as Blind Master.
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The official synopsis for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe: Origins:
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins stars Henry Golding as Snake Eyes, a tenacious loner who is welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teach Snake Eyes the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing something he’s been longing for: a home. But, when secrets from his past are revealed, Snake Eyes’ honor and allegiance will be tested – even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him.
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will hit theaters on July 23, 2021.