If next year’s spinoff Snake Eyes fails to deliver at the box office, then Paramount may as well give up on the idea of trying to turn G.I. Joe into a viable franchise. After all, this marks the third adaptation of the Hasbro toy line in little over a decade, and both of the previous installments hardly set the world alight.
Stephen Sommers’ The Rise of Cobra was almost offensively stupid for a movie that took itself so seriously, and just about managed to squeak past $300 million globally, which is not a great return when the effects-heavy blockbuster cost $175 million to produce. Jon M. Chu’s Retaliation, meanwhile, fared marginally better by costing less money to make, earning more at the box office and receiving warmer reviews than its predecessor, but it was far from a smash hit.
The third adventure in the main timeline remains stuck in development hell for now, but Snake Eyes star Henry Golding has been talking up his addition to the canon every chance he gets. Not only is he confident that it’ll launch the multi-film series that the studio are so desperate for, but he also risked incurring the wrath of comic book movie fans by saying it won’t be a cookie cutter superhero flick.
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In a recent interview, G.I. Joe comics writer Larry Hama revealed that the driving force of the plot will be the relationship between the title character and adoptive brother Storm Shadow, saying that it’s about “redemption, kindness, and loyalty.” Golding, meanwhile, confirmed that audiences will see much more of Snake Eyes’ personality this time around, after his previous big screen appearances continued in the vein of original actor Ray Park’s entire career by being a physical performance only.
“You see Snake Eyes’ weaknesses, his faults. He tries to make amends for what he has done.”
Snake Eyes was delayed by a whole year and is now scheduled to hit theaters in October 2021, and it would be fair to say that the jury is still very much out on whether or not this will be the G.I. Joe movie that sticks.