The G.I. Joe franchise has long been the disappointing cousin of Transformers. While the latter has gone on to multiple sequels, spinoffs and a huge total gross at the box office, G.I. Joe has consistently underperformed. Both 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and its sequel, 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation made money, but not quite as much as Paramount hoped. As such, the franchise has been on ice for a while. But it’s being defrosted this October, in Snake Eyes.
The upcoming movie is an origin story for G.I. Joe’s resident ninja Snake Eyes. He’s one of the most popular members of the team, appearing in almost all incarnations and famed for his martial arts skills. Despite this, his origins remain hazy and everything about his past is considered classified. Even his real face is a mystery after he was disfigured on his first mission for the team.
But Snake Eyes promises to peel back the layers surrounding the character and show his origins. While Ray Park played the role in the previous two movies, he’s been recast and will be portrayed by Crazy Rich Asians‘ Henry Golding in the spinoff. And now, courtesy of Golding’s Instagram, we’ve got our first look at the pic, which came with the following caption:
“Because its my birthday today and I’m playing Snake Eyes… Here’s your first look”
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As you can see, the image shows Snake Eyes in some kind of Japanese setting, which ties in with reports that the movie will see him trying to earn a place in the Arashikage Clan. The moody, restrained photo is quite a departure for the generally OTT franchise as well, so this might indicate a change of tone.
Of course, beyond Snake Eyes, there’s a third full G.I. Joe sequel in development: G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant. It was supposed to hit cinemas this year, but has been delayed by Paramount. And then, after that, there’s also the long-rumored G.I. Joe/ Transformers crossover. When that’ll arrive is still unclear, but suffice it to say, there’s much to look forward to for fans of the franchise.