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You can't keep a good ninja down! After months of postponement, Paramount's Snake Eyes movie is finally ramping up its marketing campaign ahead of the wide theatrical release this summer. Case in point: the studio just dropped an official poster along with a collection of production stills that reveal the titular character (played by Crazy Rich Asians' Henry Golding) in action.
Written by Evan Spiliotopoulos (Beauty and the Beast) and helmed by Robert Schwentke (Flightplan, Red), the film could very well kick off a new cinematic franchise inspired by Hasbro's iconic G.I. Joe property.
"I wanted to see something different, and I wanted it to look different, to feel different," Golding said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, which first debuted the images. "To be able to launch a franchise like that, it was just too good to be true — and especially with a character like Snake Eyes about whom a lot of people don't know too much. They know him as this insane operator that completes missions and is an absolute weapon, but who's the guy behind the mask and what's his story?"
Check out the poster and images below:
Also chatting with EW, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura promised that Snake Eyes will answer several mysteries surrounding the character, including his real name. Described as "a scarred individual" hoping "to find balance in his life," the man who will one day become Joe's stealthy and black-armored fighter of few words begins his journey with the Arashikage ninja clan. There, he comes under the wing of his future nemesis, Tommy, aka Storm Shadow (Warrior's Andrew Koji).
"It does not start as a G.I. Joe-Cobra movie," di Bonaventura explained. "It starts as an Arashikage movie, a Snake Eyes character arc. You come to realize the Arashikage as they've traditionally been are affiliated with the Joes, therefore that brings in Cobra. There is a gradual reveal that there's a larger world here."
Paramount previously attempted to kickstart a big screen G.I. Joe property on the silver screen with two feature-length projects — G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation — in 2009 and 2013 respectively. The two releases, which brought in over over $670 million worldwide, featured major star power like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, and Bruce Willis, but failed to emulate the success and longevity of another Hasbro film series: Transformers.
"There have been some scripts that are in development currently," di Bonaventura said when asked about a potential follow-up to Retaliation. "The truth of the matter is it could have gone first if we'd gotten a good script, but we struggled. While we struggled, in came a really good Snake Eyes script."
Originally scheduled to hit the big screen last October, Snake Eyes was among the biggest studio tentpoles to be delayed by the COVID-19 health crisis. The movie will now repel down into theaters everywhere Friday, July 23. Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira with Iko Uwais co-star.