It would have been a very bold and risky strategy for G.I. Joe spinoff Snake Eyes to rigidly adhere to canon when depicting its title character, who has almost entirely been defined by the fact that he’s a mute and you never see his face. Star Henry Golding is one handsome man, so it’s not like they’d keep him under a mask, and he definitely talks as the trailer proved, and he has a non-specific accent for a reason.
There’s certainly a wild experimental action movie to be made with a protagonist who doesn’t speak or emote, but we were never going to get that from Paramount’s third attempt to finally turn G.I. Joe into a viable property. The fight choreography looks solid and the ensemble boasts plenty of charisma and martial arts experience, so Snake Eyes could be something to remain quietly optimistic over.
Golding certainly hopes that it’s his first of many outings as the titular ninja, and a new theory has now offered up a way for his muteness to be incorporated into the mythology somewhere down the line. As a prequel, Snake Eyes is free to tell whatever sort of story it wants without treading on what fans regard as canon, but it’s also a martial arts epic, so the theory simply surmises that a conveniently placed throat injury could do the job, which would hardly be groundbreaking.
As ScreenRant explains:
With Snake Eyes being a full-fledged ninja movie, it seems an injury to the throat would be the most likely mechanism for the titular hero to become mute, whether from Storm Shadow alone or from another member of Cobra. A particularly strong kick to the throat or a jab with the hilt of a sword from Storm Shadow could theoretically be what robs Snake Eyes of his voice, while a non-fatal throat slash from his sword could also be behind Snake Eyes becoming mute.
Then again, it’s a PG-13 effort, so it’s also put forward that Golding could instead follow the established backstory by ending up horribly disfigured and voiceless after a helicopter explosion. However, given that the leading man is a fast-rising star looking to lead a multi-film series, there’s always the possibility that he’ll remain verbose and maskless for the duration of however long the proposed Snake Eyes franchise lasts.