Hollywood has not shown a lot of love for the G.I. Joe franchise in recent times, after the last failed attempt to kickstart a series with Channing Tatum in the lead. But that may soon change, with the upcoming Snake Eyes origin movie featuring Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding in the lead role. In an interview, Golding revealed the film is going to be almost painfully reliant on actual martial arts rather than superhero CGI.

"To be honest, [filming] was painful. It's definitely much more of a martial arts film than a superhero movie. It's very, very physical. I f***ing hated it in the beginning because I couldn't even squat down and go to the bathroom. The first week was literal hell. I think I cried on the phone to my manager. I was like: 'I don't know what I'm doing!'"
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While Henry Golding's words are unlikely to strike confidence in the hearts of fans who are hoping the actor proves worthy of the iconic role of Snake Eyes, he did go on to say that what the makers are doing with the upcoming film is unlike anything that has been done before, and could be the start of a new franchise.

"Snake Eyes has just blown me away. They've recreated G.I. Joe into something very cool and a far throw from what we've seen thus far on the big screen. I think there's room for many spin-offs, to be honest. This, I think, will be the launch of a brand-new franchise."

The character of Snake Eyes first started out as part of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline by Hasbro that came out in 1982. The character's classic all-black appearance initially was a way for Hasbro to save money on paint. The look became so popular that Snake Eyes quickly became a fan-favorite, generally being viewed as the Batman of the G.I. Joe team.

The backstory for Snake Eyes has evolved over time, and come to include his one-time ally turned arch-nemesis Storm Shadow. The upcoming film is rumored to delve deeply into that aspect of Snake Eyes' origin, with Andre Koji appearing opposite Golding as Storm Shadow.

If Snake Eyes ends up being a hit, you can be sure the rest of the Joes will also be getting a second chance on the big screen. While the previous G.I. Joe movies were criticized for being too reliant on CGI, the makers appear to have learned their lesson, and the new films will display greater use of old-school action using real martial arts.

Directed by Robert Schwentke, G.I. Joe Origins: Snake Eyes features a lead cast consisting of Golding as Snake Eyes, Andre Koji as Storm Shadow, Iko Uwais as Hard Master, Úrsula Corberó as Baroness, and Samara Weaving as Scarlett. Originally intended to release this year, the film had a schedule change due to the lockdown and is now expected to arrive in theaters in the month of October in 2021. This interview comes from NME.

Neeraj Chand