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Development roundup: G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes slithers into his own movie, Netflix goes all in on Next Gen

Contributed by
May 11, 2018

One of G.I. Joe’s most mysterious and elusive characters is about to snake his way into a breakout movie of his own. Paramount Pictures has reportedly begun development on a spinoff feature film starring Snake Eyes, the silent commando who’s been with the G.I. Joe franchise pretty much since the very beginning.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the masked ninja and (we’re hoping) Timber, his pensive pet wolf, will step into his own spotlight for the first time since Hasbro and Marvel introduced the character for the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero action figure and animated series in the 1980s.

A fan favorite, especially among those who grew up during the early years of the G.I. Joe toys’ popularity, Snake Eyes showed up most recently on the big screen in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) and G.I Joe: Retaliation (2013). Darth Maul actor Ray Park played Snake Eyes in both films; there’s no early word on whether he’s being considered to star in the spinoff. 

For fans, silence is a huge part of Snake Eyes’ identity. So it’ll be interesting to see if he molts his man-of-no-words persona once he’s the star of the whole show. Evan Spiliotopoulos, the live-action Beauty and the Beast writer who’s also just signed on to script the sequel to Netflix’s Bright, is reportedly in talks to write the Snake Eyes script, but we don’t yet know much about the development timeline. 

Late last year, Hasbro and Paramount inked a cinematic universe agreement that will launch new movies based on Hasbro’s deep stable of toy brands. Since then, Paramount revealed it’s targeting March 27, 2020, as the release date for its next G.I. Joe movie, but it’s not clear yet whether the Snake Eyes spinoff will be that film.


 

Meanwhile, Netflix has made another one of its famously big buys, this time picking up animated robot tale Next Gen. Per Deadline, Netflix paid $30 million to outbid other potential studio suitors at the Cannes Film Festival for global distribution rights (excluding China) to the Kevin R. Adams and Joe Ksander-directed movie. 

Adapted from 7723, a comic created by Wang Nima, Next Gen tells the story of two human boys who become friends in a world that’s filled with robots. The movie’s voice cast includes Charlyne Yi, Jason Sudeikis, David Cross, Michael Pena, and Constance Wu. Netflix hasn’t announced when it plans to premiere the movie, so stay tuned.


 

Also from Deadline, CBS has given the green light for a full series order of God Friended Me, the supernatural drama-comedy that focuses on how its diverse characters reconcile their existential beliefs with what’s actually happening in their lives. 

The show centers on Miles (Brandon Micheal Hall), an atheist whom God (the one and only) decides to befriend on social media. Alongside Miles are Ali (Javicia Leslie) as an intelligent, empathetic character working toward a psychology Ph.D.; and Rakesh (Suraj Sharma), a video game coder and computer hacker.

God Friended Me is set to hit CBS sometime during the 2018-2019 programming season.