Well, I gotta say writing up this post really takes me back. Regardless of how the previous movies ended up, I have very fond memories of dissecting every single trailer and teaser that came out, breaking them down into screen captures and analyzing every single second of footage.
With the eleven o’clock debut of the Snake Eyes trailer and featurette last night I didn’t have an opportunity to go through this all as soon as they released, but I couldn’t wait too long today to get right into it!
I’ve gone through both the teaser trailer itself as well as the featurette and generated nearly 150 screen captures which you can check out below. See any Easter eggs?
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.
I knew when I got GeneralsJoes fired back up a couple of weeks back, that news for the upcoming G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes film would start hitting hard, and I wasn’t disappointed.
In the past week, I’ve talked to Chris at The Full Force several times regarding updates to the Snake Eyes movie, everything from BS casting news to Henry Golding’s rumored casting, to the return of Robert Schwentke and the assembling of the full production team, preparing to leap into the fray.
Much of this news comes from Silver Optimus at HISSTank.com and I’ve spent quite a while addressing the news with Chris at The Full Force.
The outstanding question really remains – what do we make of all of this? Is this really happening? Is a new G.I. Joe film on the horizon? If so, how will it resemble the brand as we know it?
The first question that comes up is Henry Golding. It seems a done deal that he’s a part of the G.I. Joe cast, but is he Snake Eyes as many online outlets are assuming? Or could he be Storm Shadow? Does it really matter?
Golding is a potential emerging star, and having him involved in the film is a good thing, in my eyes, though the potential of him being Snake Eyes has already caused a bit of a fandom furor, not just because Snake Eyes has traditionally been seen as Caucasian, but because his nature as an “outsider” among the Arashikage clan is a large part of his character development arc. I think he can still be an outsider if Golding portrays him, my larger question is, why would they cast an emerging star like Golding in a role that (one would assume) has him eventually wearing a mask for 90% of the time.
Unless, of course, they’re going to drastically alter the Snake Eyes mythology even more than one might think.
Lots of really cool elements to dissect for sure, and I’m thinking I got GeneralsJoes fired back up just in time. Regardless of who Henry Golding plays, who is directing the film, and how things are shaking out, I’m pretty excited to have something new to talk about. Definitely check out the Full Force News Bursts below to hear me and Chris hash some of these things out.
Anyone who hasn’t been listening to the Full Force podcast is doing themselves a disservice. They’ve been right on top of the latest G.I. Joe news and bringing some really fun stuff to the podcast world.
Just over the past few days, they’ve posted a couple of different news bursts, including a great interview with Hasbro designer Bobby Vala talking specifically about his work on the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Figure Subscription Service 8.0 as well as other G.I. Joe oriented product.
Also, I joined Chris and Erik from Boss Fight Studio to talk about recent rumors surrounding G.I. Joe “Ever Vigilant” (if that is it’s real name). Some good stuff and considering the relative dearth of G.I. Joe news, they manage to be relevant, entertaining, and just plain fun.
Many fans of G.I. Joe and Hasbro properties in general have been quietly getting excited for whatever may be to come with the upcoming Hasbro Cinematic Universe. The idea of a film “relaunch” bringing together G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., and several other Hasbro properties just seems like an idea too good to be true and an awesome way to potentially bring in a new generation of Hasbro action figure fans.
But then you read an interview with one of the lead writers, Akiva Goldsman and suddenly you’re not so sure.
Over on the Wall Street Journal (of course the full interview is hidden behind a paywall) apparently Goldsman has revealed some early ideas for this Hasbro Cinematic Universe. Now, these are just ideas, so perhaps we shouldn’t get too worked up, but hey, we’re toy collectors, like Bruce Banner said, I’m pretty sure we’re always worked up.
Thankfully AgentsofMASK.com pulled over some of the key quotes from WSJ…well, thankfully, because at least we can read them. Not to thankfully, because honestly, if this is the direction things are going in, I’d probably rather they just didn’t. Here’s the quote in question:
Among the ideas they came up with were a “G.I. Joe” film set in World War II and a new version of M.A.S.K., the 1980s-era secret-agent series, that doesn’t feature the adult superspies seen in the cartoons but rather a multicultural group of youths in Detroit who come upon “magic technology” similar to what fans may remember. “That’s a story relevant for today, but if you remember the cartoon or the toy, we trigger your memory and you take a look,” Mr. Goldsman said
So, wait. First you’re going to take the G.I. Joe universe and drop it back 40 years, effectively removing every important character, or making them irrelevant by sending them back to World War II. Then, instead of a highly trained technology task force, M.A.S.K. is going to be a group of kids who stumble on magic technology?
Sorta like the Power Rangers? Is that what we’re working with here? Is that what these ace writers are bringing to the table for the Hasbro Cinematic Universe?
I know… this is one interview, effectively years before an actual movie is getting made, there’s absolutely no reason to get worked up. A hundred things are thrown at the drawing board throughout the process and not all of them stick. I truly hope neither of these two ideas stick.
I mean, one would think that Hasbro is bringing their brands together to try and create a more cohesive universe that looks and feels familiar. Neither of these two concepts feels the least bit familiar, and let’s all hope these were early ideas that were quickly discarded.
Thanks to AgentsofMASK.com for pulling out some of the intel. If anyone has a subscription to the Wall Street Journal and wants to toss the entire interview my way, I’d love to read the rest.
With Byung Hun Lee out doing the interview circuit for his new film The Magnificent Seven, it’s natural that some questions would come up regarding his role in the G.I. Joe movie franchise. Speaking with LRM, the Korean actor said that:
“…that there’s a possibility to do the third one, but I think they’re waiting for the actors’ schedules. They’re arranging the schedules for the actors, especially Dwayne Johnson.”
While it is nice to hear some talk of the next installment in the G.I. Joe film franchise, I don’t think it surprises anyone that they’re building the next installment around Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Already one of the most popular actors on the planet when he filmed G.I. Joe: Retaliation, somehow the onetime wrestler has skyrocketed even further, recently pulling down the honor of the highest paid actor in Hollywood. If G.I. Joe has the inside track to leverage Johnson’s billing for a third film, they would be painfully stupid not to do so.
At this point that means a bit of a waiting game. When you’re one of the most popular action heroes of the current moment, a wait list generally forms, and Johnson right now has a hell of a long one.
Now the real question is, how does this play into the whole Hasbro Cinematic Universe discussion? We’ve heard rumor upon rumor that Hasbro is trying to develop something for 2018, would that something include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? That would feel like a logical step to take, but at this point it remains to be seen whether that would be considered “G.I. Joe 3” or something else entirely.
For many, many years a G.I. Joe film franchise was considered to be in development hell, and there was much rejoicing when it finally got the green light for 2009. Two moderately successful films later, it almost feels like we’re back in that in-between area. Hopefully news comes out in the next 12 – 18 months that changes this perception.