Whether you loved or hated the G.I. Joe movies, fans agree the costume for Snake Eyes always looked... off. But a leak for the 2021 movie Snake Eyes, which stars Henry Golding and Andrew Koji as the title hero's rival Storm Shadow, suggests the reboot will not only fix errors of the past but pay homage to the iconic comics from Larry Hama.
What Happened? — On October 5, WonderFest took place in Shanghai (where the pandemic is under control). At the event, toy manufacturers showed off new products arriving over the next year. One company present was Threezero, a Hong Kong-based brand of detailed figures based on franchises like Destiny, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Ultraman, and Transformers.
At WonderFest 2020, Threezero revealed new figures, among them a Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe at 1/6 (12-inch) scale. It is understood, but not confirmed, that this Snake Eyes will be the one fans watch in the 2021 film Snake Eyes next year, where Henry Golding will suit up as one of the most popular characters in G.I. Joe.
Departing from the Snake Eyes seen in 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and 2013's G.I. Joe: Retaliation, this figure features a more angular visor, a bandoleer with gas grenades, and handguns holstered to his thighs. It is a design highly reminiscent of the Snake Eyes drawn by comic book giant, Larry Hama.
While it is unconfirmed from Threezero that this Snake Eyes design is for the movie, G.I. Joe fan blog Surveillance Report and users on Sideshow Collectors forums believe it's a real design leak. Inverse has reached out for confirmation to Paramount Pictures, the studio producing Snake Eyes, and will update when we hear back.
Larry Hama's Legacy — Assuming Threezero's Snake Eyes is indeed based on Henry Golding's costume, the movie is paying serious homage to famed G.I. Joe writer Larry Hama. A prolific Japanese-American comic book writer and U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam, Larry Hama was the writer for G.I. Joe at Marvel Comics from 1982 until 1994.
His run would be legendary, in what fans agree to be a definitive take on the G.I. Joe mythology as it surpassed expectations of a comic book based on kids' toys. In 2016, Hama's G.I. Joe was described by ComicsAlliance as "a sprawling, ambitious run" and "one of the defining comics of the '80s" by Comics Cube.
In a 2013 interview with HuffPost, Hama said he took the job when no one at Marvel was willing to do a "toy book."
"I was trying to get work, I couldn’t get any work, and then Hasbro came to Marvel and said well, we have this G.I. Joe comic," Hama said. "And, so they asked everybody on the list, and they all turned it down. They went down Editors’ Row asking all the editors who were writers, and they all turned it down. My office was the last office on the row. So they got to me, and they just sort of bluntly told me that every single person had turned it down, and I said I’d take it."
Threezero's Snake Eyes figure sports a design that is so unmistakably Hama, it feels like penance for the unpopular Snake Eyes designs seen in previous G.I. Joe films (which starred Ray Park in the role). While it's possible Threezero merely made an updated, more realistic version of Hama's comic book design, it's also possible this is the Snake Eyes moviegoers will see in theaters in 2021.
The Inverse Analysis — While we await confirmation from Paramount if this is indeed the Snake Eyes in the 2021 movie, it's a stunning figure regardless and definitely one to pick up for hardcore Joe bros. If this figure is based on the movie, fans are in for a treat as the beloved Hama comics are brought to life on the big screen. And if it's not, well, it's still a dope collectible.
Snake Eyes will be released in theaters on October 22, 2021.