On Monday morning, the upcoming Snake Eyes movie dropped its first full length trailer which gave the GI Joe fans (and Henry Golding stans) their first real peek into what just might be a new franchise from Paramount. The titular super assassin is teed up for an origin story. By the new look at it, Snake will be enduring a set of challenges to become the iconic Snake Eyes character, all the while laying the ground work for the relationship between Snake and Tommy (Storm Shadow, played by Andrew Koji). To offer a bit more insight into the trailer and the upcoming Snake Eyes film, Golding and Koji, along with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talked with ComicBook.com in exclusive interviews.
"We want to see the man grow into that weapon," Golding said of the film - and that's exactly what the new trailer shows. It opens on a sequence of Golding's titular character wearing down an opponent in a fight by simply taking the beating before dishing it back out. "You've got to take a few punches along the way," he added, which seems to be setting the gritty tone.
"It's a surprisingly dark movie too," di Bonaventura said. He brings quite a resumé with him, having previously worked on The Matrix, Bumblebee, Transformers, and more. "We really went for something I think a bit different," he said. "And I think that it's a different kind of storytelling than what we've traditionally been seeing in the genre."
Golding being at the front of a gritty, highly-choreographed, universe-building action film might come as a surprise to those who have become familiar with him through titles like Crazy Rich Asians and Last Christmas. In fact, Golding was an idea originally cooked up by the studio, easily getting di Bonaventura and Snake Eyes director Robert Schwenkte on board. "He was known for romantic comedy, if you will," di Bonaventura said. "The question was, 'Can we get the audience to accept that Henry can go all the way?"'And so in the film itself, the very first scene where you see Henry is in the trailer, in that cage fight. So you're like, 'Oh, okay, this guy can fight.' And so we wanted to wipe away immediately the audience's... If they have a perception that he's not a guy like this, we wanted to dispel it right from the get go so that you could just let that bias go by."
Both Golding and his Snake Eyes character, as a result, seem to be in for an action-packed renaissance of sorts, now. "We see Snake Eyes becoming the guy that we all know, the sword master, the ninja, but to be that guy, he's got to go through a lot of tough lessons," Golding said. "He's got to get hit and keep picking himself up. But the actions is nonstop. We get to a stage, where in the final sort of act, we're on a ticking clock. And all our heroes are trying to converge to defeat whatever it is that we're coming up against."
Of course, Snake becoming the masked assassin seen in the final moments of the new trailer (a suit which we will see "not that much" of in this first movie, according to di Bonaventura) also must come with the development of a relationship between Snake Eyes and Tommy. "There are probably two spines to the story, that's one of the two," di Bonaventura promised. "One is the journey that Henry's character goes through and the other is this brotherhood."
Caught up in a dispute which no one wants to share too much info about ahead of the film's release, Koji's Tommy finds himself reliant on Golding's character for rescue in this new look. "I think because of the dynamic between the two, I think very yin and yang, and the brotherhood," Koji said. "I think any relationship about brothers and brotherhood, especially in this world, where there's a lot of fighting and danger in life. I think the psychology and the differences, the different cultures they have, and all that intertwining." While it's not seen in this look, Koji is also going to suit up in a version of Storm Shadow's well-known white costume.
While di Bonaventura is reluctant to talk about follow-ups or a universe spawning out of this first Snake Eyes movie, should it be a success, he does admit there are plenty of ideas in place for more stories in this GI Joe world -- including expounding upon the Baroness and Scarlett characters portrayed by Ursula Corbero and Samara Weaving, respectively.0comments
"After this movie, we find ourselves yearning and wanting more. We want to see how this story unfolds," Golding admitted. "So all I can say is that I want to see this story to the end, and I don't think it will even end at that point, because there's just so much more that we can explore. And we got to think that this is such a macro view of an entire universe from the GI Joe. This is one origin story. We have so many that can be told and one aspect of one little corner of the space. So the possibilities are endless, but I can tell you where I want this to go. We at least have three of these films to look forward, to make sure that he gets the story that he deserves."
Snake Eyes hits theaters on July 23.