IN the mythology about GI Joe, the connection between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow is close and complex. The two fought together, trained together and became as close as brothers – only to eventually come into being bitter rivals. That relationship is not only transferred to the new film, Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins, but its actors. Though their past has certainly fewer samurai swords and killings.
Henry Golding (Crazy rich Asians, Last Christmas), who plays Snake Eyes, and Andrew Koji (Warrior), who plays Tommy (aka Storm Shadow), did not meet until they were thrown in Snake eyes. But the two grew up in the same area of England and are about the same age. “We’re both from Surrey,” Koji told io9 via video. “We are Surrey boys.” Golding explains that Koji went to the same college that most of his friends went to, which was also right next to where he grew up. “Two half-Asian kids who grew up in this area for not having met and only meeting halfway around the world on this amazing kind of production was something very special,” Golding said. “And then of course our bond was there from the start.” Koji added, “And I think some of it probably went into the movie.”
Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins takes place in a world where the famous groups GI Joe and Cobra exist, but they are not focus on the story. The focus is on a young man (Golding) who is on the hunt for revenge after the murder of his father. He saves Tommy (Koji) and the two form a bond and travel back to Japan to train with Tommy’s family, the legendary clan known as the Arashikage. However, not everything is as it seems that both men carry secrets. “We take it out of the traditional kind of tropics to be a hero and make it as layered as possible.” Golding said about the film. This means at least in the beginning that the heroic GI Joe Snake Eyes, you know from action characters, cartoons and comics, will not be there yet, nor will he be the villain Cobra agent Storm shadow. But everyone is working towards it.
“In the beginning, Snake Eyes is kind of this very deceptive kind of youth. He has had a very traumatic past and his main goal and sole purpose at that point in life is revenge … By doing so, we later realize that he has not had any code of honor, ”Golding said of his character. “A code of honor really means that you have sacrificed yourself for a greater good … and something like honor only comes with the family. That’s what he’s finding with Arashikage. So once he finds that honor in himself, he becomes the Snake Eyes that we all know and love. This journey and the arc of history, I think, was really subtle, yet very important. ”
Directed by Robert Schwentke (Red) – from a manuscript by Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse –Snake eyes was shot in part on the spot in Japan with a predominantly Asian cast. More than even the tale of honor, betrayal, and action figures turned to life, that’s what Koji thinks resonates with the film. “All I really wanted at the end of the day was for the kids watching this movie and the fans [to be pleased], ”Said Koji. “I did not have a character or a great movie like this when I was growing up, as I could see, [so] I want [the kids] to feel seen and heard and for them to feel empowered. ”
Much as Koji hopes the film gives fans, fans have the reverse power to see more of GI Joe. It is not surprising to say that the film ends in a place where the stories of Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow as well as GI Joe and Cobra, could continue in more films if this is a hit with the audience. And if that happens, every actor has very specific thoughts about what they want to do next.
“I really want to see a bigger world,” Golding said. “We are very much in this microcosm in a corner of Arashikage and Japan. But of course, the reach of Cobra is far-reaching beyond where we are in this film. I love the world of kind of espionage and I think GI Joe and this world has that aspect. I would love something in the realm of having to kind of infiltrate … I want to see him with the right motives infiltrate somewhere else. And of course I want him to grab the weapon that makes him kind of iconic. “Koji agrees. “I would love to see him in more Cobra look [where] he has a hooded look and his bow and arrow, ”he said. “And I love seeing him with these different weapons, of which he is a master. I would very much like to see more of the Arashikage techniques. And of course, it would be really cool to explore psychology. ”
Plus, this is Hollywood. At the same time, Paramount and Hasbro are restartingg GI Joe with Snake eyes, the companies are also working together on a new approach Transform called The rise of animals. Could the companies get Snake Eyes and Optimus Prime to merge? “Snake Eyes on the shoulder of Optimus Prime is something I grew up imagining with the comics and all that jazz,” Golding said. “That would be phenomenal.”
Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins opens in theaters on July 23rd.
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