Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Will Reboot the Hasbro Film Franchise

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BY January 11, 2020

Paramount Pictures apparently reversed course on what their new G.I. Joe film means for the previous two installments in the feature franchise. At a press event recently, Henry Golding revealed that the film reboots the G.I. Joe universe, effectively erasing the previous two films which were met with lukewarm fan and critical reception. Along with the reboot comes a new title, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is a prequel film following the story of the man who will become the most recognizable character from G.I. Joe.

Interestingly, Snake Eyes was created not by Hasbro, but by comics legend Larry Hama. Writing the licensed comic for Marvel, Hama was tasked with creating a story for the toy line. Because there were so many new figures and toys to promote, the G.I. Joe comic actually saw the deaths of many characters. Snake Eyes, however, quickly became a fan favorite, because he never spoke and never revealed his face.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Is a Brand-New Take on the Character

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Reboot Cartoon Scene Featured Image via Paramount Pictures

In the previous films, actor Ray Park –most known for playing Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace (and Solo: A Star Wars Story) portrayed Snake Eyes. However, since this is a prequel film, Malaysian-English actor Henry Golding will don the mask for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins which originally wasn’t supposed to be a reboot. Yet, in new comments to the press this week, Golding revealed that the film disregards all that came before to kickstart a new take on the universe.

He said, via Newsarama:

“It’s unlike anything people will have seen. We’re really starting a new timeline – a new franchise within the G.I. Joe Universe…. To kick it off with such a distinct and stylized film, it sets a precedent for follow-up movies…. It’s amazing to tread in unexplored territory…. To bring our own styles to it, and director Robert Schwentke’s love for Japanese cinema.”

The remarks came during a press event in Tokyo, Japan to mark the start of production on the movie in that country. Filming has been underway since October of 2019. Originally slated for release in March of this year, the release date has been pushed back to mid-October of this year.

Will Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Undo What Makes the Character So Cool?

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Reboot Cartoon Scene Featured Image via Paramount Pictures

As we reported near the end of 2019, Hasbro recently purchased Entertainment One, in order to help develop their toy properties into proper cinematic universes. They are hoping to become the next big pop culture thing. Snake Eyes (and his rivalry with Storm Shadow, a ninja for C.O.B.R.A.) was a big part of the story in both G.I. Joe films. Still, Schwentke and writer Evan Spiliotopoulos believe there is more story there to be mined. Golding, for his part, says he’s honored to play Snake Eyes, calling him “one of the most recognizable” characters from G.I. Joe.

Still, his next comments are worth worrying about, especially for fans of Snake Eyes:

“For us to never really see what’s beneath the mask, we missed something. He’s seen as a weapon; an inanamiate object. But when you get to see someone’s eyes, you get to see their past, their future, and their personality. We go right back to the beginning and see how he progresses and how he develops into this most amazing character.”

One of the things that makes Snake Eyes so cool is the mystery behind his character. It’s a little silly to suggest that he’s an “inanimate object” in the stories. Rather, he’s a man of mystery and that mysterious past is part of what makes the character so cool and dangerous. In fact, they should look at another of Larry Hama’s iconic runs on a comic for guidance: Wolverine. While Hama helped expand and deepen the mystery of Wolverine’s past, the film that did the same thing is one of the X-Men franchise’s biggest flops. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a cluttered film that demystified the character, and it exists as a black mark on the series. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins runs a risk of doing the same thing, both by unmasking the titular character and shoehorning in other characters necessary for the reboot.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will reboot the franchise on October 19, 2020. 

What do you think about the plans to reboot the franchise with Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins? Do you think it is a good idea? Do you want to see Snake Eyes’ backstory? Share your thoughts below.

Featured image via ReelFX

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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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