The upcoming film Snake Eyes will see Henry Golding in the titular role of the ninja soldier Snake Eyes. Warrior star Andrew Koji will feature opposite Golding in the role of the villainous Storm Shadow. In a Collider interview, Koji revealed that he was hesitant to play the character based on his memory of the previous G.I. Joe films.
"I thought about playing that character [Storm Shadow] because I didn't like the first two films. I can say that. I'm allowed to not like a film. So, I was hesitant, at first, to even accept that. That's a big studio film and my first role in a big studio film, so I was very hesitant because I didn't have that trust in Hollywood to do that. What Warrior taught me and the voice that it gave me helped my work on Storm Shadow. I don't wanna play a character with a six-pack. I wanted him to be human and flawed; he's going through stuff. For me, when I saw the first G.I. Joe films, I was like, 'I don't wanna do that. That's not the kind of thing I wanna do.'"
In the G.I. Joe mythology, Storm Shadow is a Japanese American soldier who is descended from a long line of assassins. Storm Shadow shares a deep bond with Snake Eyes, although it is a troubled bond. The two have zigzagged from trying to kill each other, to laying down their lives for each other over the years, and everything in between. Think Thor and Loki but with a lot more badass katana sword combat thrown in.
For Andrew Koji, his interest in playing Storm Shadow stemmed from wanting to explore that complex relationship in an authentic manner, with the hope that his performance would serve as inspiration for the next generation of Asian-American actors.
"When I spoke with the director [Robert Schwentke] about that I said, 'If I'm gonna play him, I have to do my research into Japanese culture and embrace that.' There was an opportunity for me to do a performance in that kind of film for the next generation. My time in this business might end in a few years but a kid growing up might be able to watch that film and see a more realistic, grounded portrayal and feel like they can act and they can do this. Even if it's in ninja form, they can still bring their own humanity to it. So, it was quite a deep thing for me, just because I had a lot of reservations about it, at first, but then they allowed me to do that. I've gotta give credit to those guys but that was all because of the skill I got from Warrior."
Directed by Robert Schwentke, G.I. Joe Origins: Snake Eyes features Henry Golding as Snake Eyes, Andre Koji as Storm Shadow, Iko Uwais as Hard Master, Úrsula Corberó as Baroness, and Samara Weaving as Scarlett. The film arrives in theaters on Oct. 2021. This news originated at Collider.