On January 10, 2020, production on the G.I. Joe spin-off Snake Eyes officially moved to Japan. To celebrate, the cast and crew assembled at Hie-Jinja Shrine to receive a traditional blessing ahead of the beginning of shooting in Tokyo.
After the ceremony, the Snake Eyes team held a press conference, which gave stars Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe, Iko Uwais and others the opportunity to talk about their excitement taking on these iconic characters. Golding, in particular, got to express why filling in the mysterious ninja commando’s backstory was so enticing to him as an actor.
“Snake Eyes was always seen as a weapon, as almost an inanimate object,” said the titular star. “But when you get to see someone’s eyes… and so we throw it back right to the beginning and see how he progresses and how he develops into this most amazing character.”
Golding also went on to praise his director, Robert Schwentke, and his new take on the Joe franchise (which he took over from the man who discovered Golding in the first place, Crazy Rich Asians‘ Jon M. Chu, by the way).
“It’s unlike anything that people will have seen,” he continued. “We’re really starting a new timeline, a new franchise with the G.I. Joe universe. And so, to kick it off with such a distinct and stylized film, I think it really sets the precedent for follow-up movies.”
Golding’s co-star Andrew Koji — who will be playing Storm Shadow (and which I totally called back in the summer!) — spoke about getting in touch with his heritage and playing a Japanese character for the first time in his acting career.
“Every role comes to you for a reason,” said Koji. “It’s been a very interesting experience to kind of embrace and learn more about my heritage and culture.”
I’ve long made my feelings about Snake Eyes known on this site. He’s one of the most formative fictional characters of my childhood. And to see his solo movie feature a majority Asian cast makes me happy beyond belief. More than that, we’re getting a movie that looks like it will be treating Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow as multidimensional characters. It’s crazy how excited I am for this movie.
Snake Eyes stars Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Samara Weaving, Úrsula Corberó, Haruka Abe, Iko Uwais, and Takehiro Hira. It opens in theaters on October 23, 2020. Check out the sizzle reel below for more from the event in Tokyo.