I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting to write those words. For going on two or three years now, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the third Hollywood G.I. Joe motion picture and while Snake Eyes isn’t a sequel to Rise of COBRA or Retaliation, it is still a major feature film that promises to thrust the brand we love back into the limelight.
I’ve been exuberant and excited about the prospects of a new G.I. Joe film and when Paramount reached out to me to have a conversation with Henry Golding, the star of Snake Eyes, it took me about half a second to agree.
The conversation was informal, over Zoom and lasted about 15 minutes where we discussed several different elements of the Snake Eyes film as well as the brand of G.I. Joe in general. I found Mr. Golding to be extremely likeable, friendly and enthusiastic (he really seemed to love my G.I. Joe: Retaliation poster in my office) and it feels like Snake Eyes is in good hands.
Of course, the first question I had to ask how concerned he was about taking on the role of a character who’s most defining characteristic is that he doesn’t speak. Golding said that “many people reached out to me” about those same concerns but at the end of the day Snake Eyes is an origin story. It gives the opportunity to explore the man before he became Snake Eyes. A time before he lost his voice.”
While it might be tough for us long time G.I. Joe fans to rationalize that there was a time before Snake Eyes lost his voice, the truth is, that remains a somewhat unexplored era of the G.I. Joe Commando’s history. Golding acknowledged this, but also acknowledged the big role that long time G.I. Joe scribe Larry Hama played during the film’s production process.
“Larry was instrumental in creating Snake [Eyes] and Storm [Shadow] and it was important to have his voice be a part of the process”.
By all accounts, Larry has thoroughly enjoyed his time visiting the Snake Eyes set and participated in a great featurette talking about the production of the film and his role in the history of Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and the Arashikage Clan.
Leading up to the film’s release, one of the main discussion points has been around the lack of marketing and more specifically the lack of a film trailer not even ten weeks before the release of the film. In speaking with Mr. Golding on that he’s definitely heard the criticisms, but “we’ve been in such uncertain times. We didn’t want to release a trailer a year ago and make people wait.” The truth is, the film industry has been somewhat upside-down as a result of the global pandemic and certainly Snake Eyes has been impacted by that. Considering the announcement of the release date move was only made a few weeks ago, I suspect there have been a lot of moving parts and while I would have loved to have seen a trailer earlier, the fact is it’s here now, and its magnificent.
One thing that really jumped out at me about the trailer was how heavily the film leans into Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow’s ninja roots. Mr. Golding acknowledged that expressing how critical it was for the film to be made on location in Japan. “We were able to explore ancient settings in a way that green screen simply can’t bring to life.” Elaborating about the green screen question, he talked with admiration about the level of practical effects in the film and how it was a call back to a more old school sort of martial arts filmmaking that really helped bring things to life.
And of course, I couldn’t talk to Henry Golding without at least prodding a little bit about what the future might hold. While he couldn’t say much, he did say “Snake Eyes gets f*cked up– because this story happens before he becomes the operator we know. Truth is, there are so many different G.I. Joe stories that could be told. How he finds Timber, his life in the cabin, there are so many possibilities.”
It certainly seemed to me like perhaps the Snake Eyes story isn’t done. As for G.I. Joe at large, Golding expressed a love for the property, saying “…they’re not super heroes. They’re normal people just like you and me, and as a kid buying the toys, they can see themselves in the uniform– in the armor and do great things without super powers.”
I finished my conversation by asking him about how it felt having his own action figure, and he was quick to pull the G.I. Joe: Classified movie Snake Eyes from his desk, where it had it at hand. Smiling widely, he praised the figure’s design as well as the face scanning. “They even got my trademark beard stubble.”
While things have been somewhat radio silent on the movie front for a while, it feels as though the marketing bomb bay doors are opening, and I for one am on board. I want to thank Paramount and Henry Golding for the opportunity to sit down with him– after spending a few minutes shooting the breeze about my favorite brand, I feel comfortable saying that Snake Eyes is in good hands.
Huge thanks to both Henry Golding and the folks from Paramount for setting up this unique opportunity.
The film releases on July 23rd in theaters everywhere.
Okay, something tells me all of our wishes about a marketing blitz for the Snake Eyes movie are about to come true. On the heels of EW.com’s reveal of initial movie images yesterday, Paramount PR reached out to me today and provided those same images, along with an exclusive first look at the Snake Eyes movie poster!
Joe fans, things are starting to feel a little bit more real! Add this to the fact that the trailer is officially being revealed Sunday at 9pm and I think things are about to heat up even more!
I, for one, can’t wait!
SNAKE EYES IS ONLY IN THEATRES, DOLBY CINEMA AND IMAX JULY 23, 2021
Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Skydance Present
In Association with Hasbro
A di Bonaventura Pictures Production
A Robert Schwentke Film
“SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS”
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.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY
David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Jeff G. Waxman, Greg Mooradian
Brian Goldner, Erik Howsam, p.g.a., Lorenzo di Bonaventura, p.g.a.
Hasbro’s G.I. JOE® Characters
Evan Spiliotopoulos and Anna Waterhouse & Joe Shrapnel
Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira with Iko Uwais
First and foremost, it’s always a great day when you get a free package from Hasbro in the mail. Huge thanks to the folks at Hasbro for sending along this great gift box of free product!
As awesome as this stuff is, though, to me, the best gift of all is going to be seeing what Hasbro has to share April 9th. They’ve promised that Snake Eyes himself, Henry Golding will be in the house to share some exciting news about the Snake Eyes film, and we’re more or less guaranteed to get our first look at Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins movie figures!
Recently it’s also been revealed that Major Bludd, one of the most anticipated figures in the Classified line, may be revealed this week as well, but will likely be revealed as a Target: COBRA Island exclusive.
I will, of course, be celebrating Fan Fest with my good friends at The Full Force Podcast, so make sure you’re following them over on Facebook and subscribing to their YouTube channel to get our opinion on the sure-to-be-exciting reveals to come.
Meanwhile, check out some of the really fun contents of this awesome Gift Box.
Thanks, Hasbro, now I’ve fallen in love with Power Rangers Lightning and Star Wars Black Mandalorian figures. You get me. You really get me.
Star Wars Black Bo Katan
Yes this figure is just as amazing as Katie Sackhoff herself. Two pistols, removable helmet (with flip-down scope!) and a removable jetpack… SOLD.
Marvel Legends House of M Cyclops
Love the vintage feel of this Cyclops and the energy beam? Chef’s kiss.
Power Rangers Lightning Dino Thunder Blue Ranger
I have never ever in my life cared about Power Rangers until this very moment. I was absolutely shocked at just how damn fun this figure is. The accessories are great, articulation is spectacular. I don’t have a clue what Dino Thunder is, but I’m for it!
Transformers: Kingdom Paleotrex
I’ll admit– while I’ve dug deep into Kingdom figures mostly out of a love for Beast Wars, I hadn’t sampled this one yet. It’s really neat! The transformation gimmick involves taking the dang thing apart and putting it back together– differently. I really dig how the dinosaur ends up strangely larger than the robot. What kind of sorcery is this?
G.I. Joe: Classified Zartan
What else do I need to say that I didn’t already say in my review. BEST CLASSIFIED FIGURE EVER.
One just has to look no further than me for proof of how licensing can help build awareness and devotion to a particular brand. In the late 90’s, the combination of a Nintendo 64 game and some really fun action figures by Toy Biz essentially made me a wrestling fan. I never would have tuned in to WCW Nitro if not for the N64 game WCW vs NWO World Tour, which captured me with its intuitive controls and faithful adherence to the move set of the live action charicatures.
From there I was quickly drawn in to the soap opera stories, the awesome week-by-week build up and the explosive Pay Per View shows, so much so that I actually attended several in person house shows and even a WWE: Backlash Pay-Per-View live. For several years, I was completely enthralled, and none of that would have happened if not for a video game and some really fun Toy Biz WCW action figures.
For that reason alone, I was exceptionally excited to see my friends at Boss Fight Studios dipping their toes into the wrestling world with their Legends of Lucha Libre figures and accessories. Not only that, but it was going to be their first foray into 6″ figures, which was exciting into itself. Don’t get me wrong, I will always have a love for the 1:18 scale, and the building blocks of my action figure fandom are built in 3.75 and 4″, but recently, with G.I. Joe: Classified, Marvel Legends and Masters of the Universe (among others) I’ve been drawn into some of the larger scale figures and fascinated by what those larger sizes enable the designers to do.
Legends of Lucha Libre is no different. One just has to look at the intricate tattoo deco on both of these figures to know exactly what is possible at a larger scale. Though, to be honest, I’ve spent a very long time staring at the tattoo deco on this figure and it STILL doesn’t seem possible, even at a 6″ size. The paint deco on these figures is truly spectacular. The tattoos are so nicely painted and applied, working seamlessly throughout the joints and even included on the spare hands that come with Ray Fenix.
But really, the paint applications are only a part of the story. While I’m not necessarily a devoted follower or fan of Masked Republic or Lucha Libre in general, I have found a ton to love about these two figures. Along with the aforementioned color deco, the articulation is almost flawless. The range of motion on these figures is like a scaled up version of the Vitruvian HACKS figures, which is really all I could have wanted and more. There is so much great work in the sculpt and the way that sculpt blends with the joints, Boss Fight manages to combine fantastic range of motion with a smooth sculpting aesthetic that feels like the best of both worlds.
Like the HACKS figures, there are also some great customization options. The hands and heads are full swappable (just make sure to use some hot water or a hair dryer) so you can mix and match hands, wrist guards, elbow pads, etc… and it offers some fantastic flexibility.
But this initial assortment isn’t just about the figures and characters. There are two accessory sets included with this assortment as well, which are just insanely fun. A folding chair, the customary breakaway table, baseball bat with removable barbed wire, wooden kendo sticks, flexible strands of barbed wire, a microphone, a breakable cinder block– and a couple of Masked Republic masked heads. So many options and so much fun.
It’s been years since I collected wrestling figures, and I’m already super antsy to get my hands on an official Boss Fight Studio wrestling ring. I think I’m hooked on these things already!