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Everything we know about Snake Eyes 2021: Release date, plot, trailer

The coolest member of G.I. Joe is starring in his own movie on July 23. Here's everything you need to know about the prequel spin-off.

Paramount Pictures
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GO JOE! The coolest member of the G.I. Joe, the ninja ops agent Snake Eyes, will star in his own prequel/reboot movie coming in 2021. And there's someone really special behind the mask.

Here's everything you need to know about Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. Bookmark this page and check back often as we'll update it with everything you need to know and see as the release in summer 2021 draws near.

What is the release date of Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins?

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will be released in theaters on July 23, 2021.

The movie was first scheduled to release on March 27, 2020, but was delayed several times before landing on October 23, 2020. By the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread shutdown of theaters compelled studio Paramount Pictures to delay the movie by an entire year to October 2021. In April, Deadline reported the studio had moved up Snake Eyes to a summer release, hoping to make it a tentpole blockbuster for the season.

On January 10, 2020, the production of 'Snake Eyes' kicked off shooting in Japan, which it marked with a publicity event and press conference. From left to right: Exective Producer Jeff Waxman, Kenji Tanigaki, Takehiro Hira, Haruka Abe, Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, director Robert Schwentke and executive producer Erik Howsam at Hie-Jinja Shrine in Tokyo, Japan.Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

When and where did Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins film?

Filming for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins began on October 15, 2019, in Vancouver, where it filmed for the rest of the year. Starting in January 2020, production then moved to Japan. Per star Henry Golding’s Instagram, filming wrapped on February 26, 2020, shortly before productions worldwide shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Where can I watch the trailer for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins?

There is no trailer for Snake Eyes at the moment. Principal photography finished in February 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped many industries, including Hollywood. While a trailer probably would have debuted by now, the pandemic had pushed all of Paramount's marketing efforts for Snake Eyes to 2021. However, given the film’s new summer release date, we should be expecting a trailer in the next couple of months.

What is Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins?

Snake Eyes is a prequel movie that reveals the origins of the secret agent Snake Eyes, a ninja who operates under the elite G.I. Joe squad. While he is not the leader of the G.I. Joe team, Snake Eyes has been one of the most popular characters in the franchise, equivalent to Wolverine of the X-Men.

The movie is directed by German filmmaker Robert Schwentke, who also directed the 2010 action movie Red and the 2015 and 2016 installments of the Divergent movies. The screenplay is by Evan Spiliotopoulos, who also wrote the 2017 billion-dollar hit Beauty and the Beast and the 2019 action movie Charlie's Angels.

Though a "solo" origin movie, Snake Eyes is also functioning as a reboot of the G.I. Joe film franchise made up of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) and G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013). In both, Ray Park played Snake Eyes, the actor/martial artist who also played Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

After Snake Eyes, you can probably expect a new G.I. Joe movie universe, one that may or may not also inhabit a shared universe with other Hasbro properties like Transformers, Rom the Space Knight, M.A.S.K., and as of 2018, Power Rangers.

Will there be a sequel for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins?

A "sequel" of sorts for Snake Eyes is already in development. In May 2020, The Hollywood Reporter reported the follow-up film will take audiences "deeper into the world" of the G.I. Joe. Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse, writers of the 2019 thriller Seberg, were reportedly in charge of writing the movie.

A "third" G.I. Joe movie, rumored to be titled G.I. Joe Ever Vigilant and directed by D.J. Caruso, has been in development for several years. Originally reported to be a continuation of the two movies, it is unknown what Ever Vigilant's status will be, especially after Snake Eyes reboots the series.

Snake Eyes, played by Ray Park, in the 2013 film 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation.'Paramount Pictures

What is the plot of Snake Eyes?

The plot of Snake Eyes is unknown. However, given its premise as an origin story, you can expect elements from the many G.I. Joe comics by longtime writer Larry Hama to influence the story.

In the G.I. Joe comics published by Marvel, Snake Eyes was a Vietnam War vet who served in the U.S. military with Storm Shadow. Upon their return stateside, Snake Eyes learns his family was killed in a car accident. Left without a home, Storm Shadow took in Snake Eyes to Japan, where they trained together as ninjas in the Arashikage clan.

Snake Eyes excelled in his training, currying favor with Storm Shadow's uncle Hard Master. This created a rift between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, who fight on opposite sides of the G.I. Joe/Cobra Command conflict.

Before joining G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes lived a secluded life in the High Sierras with his pet wolf, Timber. In an early mission for the Joes, Snake Eyes' face was disfigured, leaving him to conceal himself behind a balaclava. His vocal cords were also damaged, which explains why Snake Eyes never speaks. Among the G.I. Joe team, Snake Eyes develops a relationship with Scarlett.

Little else is known about Snake Eyes' identity, including his real name. He has been shown to be a blonde, Caucasian male with blue eyes, but anything more about his personality and personal history have never been revealed.

Henry Golding, star of 'Snake Eyes,' at the January 2020 event commemorating the movie's production start in Japan.Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Who is starring in Snake Eyes?

The cast of Snake Eyes is as follows:

  • Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) as Snake Eyes, a special ops soldier and ninja for the G.I. Joe.
  • Andrew Koji (Warrior) as Storm Shadow, the "sword brother" of Snake Eyes who joins the evil Cobra Command. Korean actor Lee Byung-hun played Storm Shadow in the original movies.
  • Iko Uwais (The Raid) as Hard Master. In the comics, Hard Master is the elder uncle of Storm Shadow who oversees the Arashikage clan. Given that Uwais is only 37, not much older than either Golding and Koji (both 33), fans can expect a significant departure in the character's depiction.
  • Peter Mensah (Spartacus: Blood and Sand) as Blind Master, a blind American martial arts expert who was close with the Arashikage clan. In the 2013 film G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the role was played by RZA and revealed as the master who continued Snake Eyes' training after the death of Hard Master.
  • Úrsula Corberó (Money Heist) as Baronness, an intelligence officer who serves Cobra Commander. Sienna Miller previously played her in the 2009 film.
  • Samara Weaving (Bill & Ted Face the Music) as Scarlett, a counterintelligence agent for the G.I. Joe specializing in martial arts and gymnastics. Her signature weapon is a crossbow. In the comics, she develops a romantic relationship with Snake Eyes.
  • Haruka Abe (BBC’s Ideal) as Akiko

Takehiro Hira and Steven Allerick also appear in the film in undisclosed roles.

As you may notice, the casting of British-Malaysian actor Henry Golding as Snake Eyes is an interesting one. In G.I. Joe's canon, Snake Eyes was a white American male, a decision by Larry Hama — a prominent Japanese-American comic book titan — to illustrate Snake Eyes as an outsider to his Japanese ninja surroundings.

With Golding, who starred in the hit Crazy Rich Asians, Snake Eyes is shaping up to be the rare Hollywood action blockbuster that may or may not unpack the more invisible, but any less resonant, alienation of second-generation Asian immigrants. It's a small but refreshing twist on the familiar "outsider" narrative, one that has dominated pop culture for a long time in which white westerners always learn and adopt the mystical secrets of "foreign" cultures.

While there are no specifics on Snake Eyes' story, it's possible the movie may involve an Asian-American who comes "home" and "discovers" his ethnic roots. If Snake Eyes is anything like that, the movie will be a truly rare picture, even if it is still a commercial for cool toys.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will be released in theaters on July 23, 2021.

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