Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, Taking Reboots in Stride 

August 5, 2021

The G.I. Joe movies do not have the best track record, with movies G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe Retaliation not being very well received. The next movie in the G.I. Joe franchise, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, appears to promise a different approach. From what we can see in the trailers and other promotional material, the movie looks like it is not only going to be an origin story for the titular character, it is also going to be a reboot for the franchise. Here’s the trailer for reference.

What Exactly Does The Snake Eyes Movie Change?

To answer this question, there are a couple of key details that need to be taken into account. For one, since it is an origin story, Snake Eyes will not be a part of the Joes’ ranks quite yet. Per an article by Collider, the movie will instead focus on his time with a clan dubbed the Arashikage. It will also feature Cobra, a shadow organization that has long been the archnemesis of the Joes. According to the trailer, Arashikage will be taking an active role in taking the fight to Cobra Command. It’s an interesting choice, entwining Snake Eyes’ origin with Cobra, but it makes sense given what other characters are seen in the movie. Portraying Snake Eyes himself will be Henry Golding, known widely for starring in Crazy Rich Asians. Andrew Koji, who recently starred in Warrior, will play Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes’ eventual nemesis. Other stars in the movie include Uko Kwais as Hard Master (Snake Eyes’ Master & leader of the Arashikage), Samara Weaving as Scarlett (a member of the Joes), and Úrsula Corberó as Baroness (a prominent member of Cobra Command). 

Speaking of casting and choice of character, Paramount in collaboration with Stoopid Buddy Studios took the time to create a funny little YouTube video, outlining who will and will not be featured in the new Snake Eyes film. 

The promotional video, which uses stop motion and G.I. Joe figurines, pokes fun at the state of the G.I. Joe franchise in terms of organizing its canon. For one, characters seen here who are not being included in the Snake Eyes movie include Duke, Roadblock, and Gung Ho. This is important because these are characters we have seen in the movies previously. Duke was played by Channing Tatum in G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra, and Roadblock was played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in G.I. Joe Retaliation. What does this suggest? Even though the video claims it’s more of an origin story than a reboot, choosing not to include or make reference to the past two movies more so suggests that it trends along being a reboot. This is not to suggest we may never see these characters, as an article by Gizmodo posits that depending on how well the Snake Eyes does, “[their] inclusion makes it fairly obvious those are characters could appear in sequels” (Gizmodo, 2021). It’s worth noting that Snake Eyes is one of the most popular G.I. Joe characters out there, so there is a possibility that the movie can do well enough to sire sequels. Making Snake Eyes’ movie the start to a brand new cinematic canon for the G.I. Joe franchise is a smart choice, but only time will tell in terms of the movie’s success.