Snake Eyes Star Defends Showing GI Joe Character’s Face Under The Mask

Exclusive: Henry Golding previews Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins and explains why the movie picks up before the character puts on his mask.

Henry Golding promises Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will explore the man behind the iconic mask. Following two less than stellar attempts to bring the Hasbro property to the big screen (the most recent being 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Paramount is looking to reboot G.I. Joe with Snake Eyes. The film was initially supposed to open last year, but the ongoing pandemic led to a reshuffling of release dates. Most recently, Snake Eyes moved up from October of this year to July, putting it firmly within the hopeful summer movie season.

Snake Eyes will put the titular ninja, played by Golding, in the spotlight. This time, though, he’s going to look far different. In traditional G.I. Joe lore, Snake Eyes is a silent, masked soldier whose past remains shrouded in mystery. With this origin story, director Robert Schwentke looks to pull back the curtain on how Snake Eyes became Snake Eyes. Additionally, other familiar faces from G.I. Joe will appear, including Storm Shadow (Andrew Koji), Scarlett (Samara Weaving), and the Baroness (Úrsula Corberó).

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Screen Rant received the opportunity to sit down with Golding and discuss his role in Snake Eyes. During our talk, Golding touched upon the decision to start the story before Snake Eyes puts on his mask, which some traditional fans might find blasphemous. However, as Golding explains, it’s important to explore who Snake Eyes is as a person underneath his mask. He said:

Henry Golding: I think it’s the building of his background and the building of his true origin. And understanding that to know a man is to know his past and the footprints he had to make to get to where he got.

It was so important to set the standard and set the basis of [him]. If we were to go the next 5 or 6 films with just his mask on, we all know who Snake Eyes is. And that was what was so important. People complaining that, “Ahh! We see his face!” Well, he didn’t come out of his mother’s belly with a mask on and whatnot. Who’s to say we won’t go the entire rest of the movies [like that]?

But behind the mask, he’s a guy. He’s a human; he has love interests, he has failures in life, he has mistakes that he’s made, and he has forgiveness in his heart for the things that perhaps he thought he’d never be able to forgive himself for. We need to be able to see that in his eyes and, wearing a mask, sometimes we just aren’t able to put that across.

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When looking at the typical cast of G.I. Joe characters, Snake Eyes certainly comes to mind as one of the best candidates for a proper origin story. This is virtually untapped territory for the franchise, and it gives Schwentke the opportunity to really bring something new to G.I. Joe. While Snake Eyes will center on a version of the character not many people know, there will be plenty of references to the broader universe. Plus, as teased in the Snake Eyes trailer, Golding might end the film putting the familiar mask on. Snake Eyes is looking to kick off a new G.I. Joe franchise, so it stands to reason that Golding could then go on to portray the character as he has always been seen.

Of course, that franchise starter hopes is one reason why Snake Eyes should perhaps tread lightly. If this concept of a Snake Eyes without his mask is too much for fans to accept, the movie might falter. Luckily, based on Golding’s comments, it sounds like he and Schwentke have planned for a compelling origin tale that will honor the character and his future. Snake Eyes looks to do something different for G.I. Joe, and that just might be what the franchise needs.

More: Every G.I. Joe Character In The Snake Eyes Movie

  • Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021)Release date: Jul 23, 2021

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