One of the more forgettable franchises in recent years was Paramount’s attempt to get a G.I. Joe series of films going, starting with the Channing Tatum and Sienna Miller led Rise of Cobra in 2009 (which Tatum has famously expressed regret over making), and following it up by replacing Tatum with Dwayne Johnson for 2013’s Retaliation.
Both films were financially successful, if not ones that stuck in the memory of audiences for long, and so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the studio is attempting to throw another G.I. Joe based film in the mix. There is some surprise, however, in where the focus of this story is landing.
For Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, the series delivers a prequel set around the fan favorite titular character Snake Eyes. Played by Ray Park in the previous entries, here the mantle is taken on by Henry Golding, giving the Crazy Rich Asians breakout the chance to lead his own action franchise.
Originally scheduled for release on March 27, 2020, several delays including from the COVID pandemic has pushed the film back to its current July 23, 2021 release date, which will be followed by a streaming debut on Paramount+ 45 days later.
Directed by Robert Schwentke (Red, R.I.P.D.), the film co-stars Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow (previously played by Lee Byung-hun), Úrsula Carberó as The Baroness (Sienna Miller’s former role), Samara Weaving as Scarlett, Haruka Abe as Akiko, Tahehiro Hira as Kenta, and The Raid’s Iso Uwais as Hard Master.
It’s a risky proposition to hope that audiences will invest in an origin story for a franchise that there wasn’t ever much fanfare for, but perhaps Snake Eyes can rewrite the franchise anew.
Check out the first trailer below and see for yourself when Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins drops in theaters on July 23rd: