The first things you’ll notice about the upcoming Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins film is its star-studded cast led by Henry Golding, high energy action scenes, and of course, a look into the man under the mask.
As Snake Eyes himself puts it, “we see the man behind Snake Eyes, who he is as a human being, what his trials and tribulations have been to get to him to get to the place where he is now.”
Neil Bui: How do you think your role will have a positive impact for the AAPI community at large?
Henry Golding: You know, the entire cast is phenomenal. We’ve got Andrew Koji, we’ve got Takehiro Hira, who’s phenomenal and is going to be introduced, Haruka Abe, who’s amazing, and of course, Samara Weaving. We’ve got Úrsula Corberó, Peter Mensah, and Iko Uwais. We have the whole gambit from around the world. And so, for me, being the title character of Snake Eyes, was a real honor. This is the first time we see Snake Eyes without his mask on as an adult, and we see the man behind Snake Eyes, who he is as a human being, what his trials and tribulations have been to get him to get to the place where he is now.
To think that once this film comes out, there’s going to be kids out there, on playgrounds, pretending to be me, pretending to be Storm Shadow, running around with ninja stars and plastic swords. It’s so heartwarming. And for them to believe that “hey, I can be the lead of a huge franchise like this and it is normalized.” Our goal is to see these faces and not to think ‘oh that guy’s Asian’ but ‘holy crap that guy’s kicking some ass’.
Neil Bui: I’m curious how you prepared for kickstarting off this universe. Did you dive into the old cartoons or played with action figures?
Henry Golding: To be honest it was great having conversations with Larry Hama and understanding his motivations in creating the characters, creating that relationship between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, and why he made the decisions he did. Having Hama act as executive producer brings us the creative license to expand his history. Perhaps it’s what he really wanted to do in the past but was unable to. Maybe his hands were tied, who knows, but for him overseeing the project and having his say was so important to us because we wanted to do justice to the pre-existing fans, of course, but we also want to open this movie up to be able to be loved by so many more people around the world. And starting with the origin of Snake Eyes was so important because there’s so many amazing characters that we can go to, and I think this will set the standard for how these movies progress.
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins opens in theaters and arrives on July 23, 2021. Check out the new teaser for the film below.
Synopsis: Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins stars Henry Golding as Snake Eyes, a tenacious loner who is welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teach Snake Eyes the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing something he’s been longing for: a home. But, when secrets from his past are revealed, Snake Eyes’ honor and allegiance will be tested – even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him. Based on the iconic G.I. Joe character, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins also stars Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Úrsula Corberó as The Baroness, Samara Weaving as Scarlett, Haruka Abe as Akiko, Tahehiro Hira as Kenta and Iko Uwais as Hard Master.