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It’s been six years since the G.I. Joe franchise last appeared on the silver screen with G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but it looks like Paramount’s franchise is finally gearing up to go again with its first spinoff movie: Snake Eyes. We first heard about the solo film featuring the fan favorite ninja about a year ago, but things seem to be moving forward now, and it appears that the Snake Eyes movie may have found its awesome lead star.
Actor Henry Golding, best known for his breakout role in the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, is in talks to star in Paramount’s Snake Eyes, according to Variety. Henry Golding will play the titular ninja warrior in the film from director Robert Schwentke, whose previous directing efforts include Red, Insurgent and The Captain. The Huntsman: Winter’s War and Beauty and the Beast’s Evan Spiliotopoulos wrote the script for the solo film.
The talks are in the early stages at this point, but if a deal is made, Henry Golding would lead Paramount and Hasbro’s first attempt to put a new spin on the G.I. Joe series, following the box office success of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. A writer’s room was convened to figure out the next ideas and it seems that they turned to the most popular character in the property to get things started. Although it is still unclear if this film will be a reboot of sorts or fit within the existing continuity.
Snake Eyes was first introduced as part of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe relaunch of the toy line in the 1980s called G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and he was previously played onscreen by martial artist and actor Ray Park in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. For those born too late for G.I. Joe’s heyday and who also skipped out on the 2009 and 2013 film’s, Snake Eyes is an enigmatic ninja commando that is part of the G.I. Joe anti-terrorist military group.
Snake Eyes has a pet wolf named Timber and he dresses all in black, in contrast to his villainous counterpart Storm Shadow, who wears all white and works for the evil Cobra organization. Snake Eyes never speaks and like other great badasses Master Chief, Judge Dredd and Darth Vader, he never removes his mask.
The chances of him keeping his mask on the entire time in the Snake Eyes movie seem slim to none though. You don’t cast romantic comedy star Henry Golding in an action blockbuster and not let audiences see his face. I’m not sure what Henry Golding’s martial arts abilities are, if any, but since the character would presumably be masked during many of the fight scenes, a martial artist could handle the more difficult stuff. Maybe they’ll even bring Ray Park back for that.
Henry Golding’s career has been taking off since Crazy Rich Asians, with roles in A Simple Favor and Guy Ritchie’s upcoming The Gentlemen, and just today we saw him opposite the Mother of Dragons herself Emilia Clarke in the trailer for Last Christmas. Yet despite the fan casting for him as the MCU’s Namor, if he gets the role in Snake Eyes, it would be his first true action blockbuster.