G.I. Joe creator Larry Hama recently defended changes to Snake Eyes in the upcoming Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origin film starring Henry Golding.
Hama took to his personal Facebook, where he shared a video from Paramount Pictures that shows him on the set of the film.
He stated, “I was in costume for the interview. I’m wearing waterproof underwear and socks under the suit and overcoat.”
In the video, seen below, not only is Hama on the set of the film, but he also says, “When I did the comic, I made it character centric. I came up with the backstory of Storm Shadow takes Snake Eyes into the clan.”
The video also features Golding stating, “We try to find a balance between what is pre-existing G.I. Joe lore but also finding a way of updating it. Giving people more.”
To that end, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura stated, “That opened up a world of opportunity. Let’s do the origin story, before he’s lost his voice.”
Not only will Snake Eyes speak in the film as he is shown in the video above as well as the film’s first teaser trailer, but he will also be maskless for much of the film. In fact, Golding has declared that this movie is the “true backstory” of Snake Eyes.
As for why these changes are being made, Golding explained, “Let’s just say he wasn’t born with a mask. There’s always a beginning. And the importance for giving complexity to such an iconic character, I think drove us to be able to allow him to express himself because I don’t think we were able to see that in the comic books.”
He elaborated, “We weren’t able to understand the hardships that got him to be who he is, the decisions that were made, the hurdles that had to be overcome, the wrong, the right. And we see all of that within this film because he perhaps he isn’t the best of guys in the beginning, perhaps his motivations aren’t true.”
“But what he goes through with the Arashikage [Clan] perhaps puts him back on the right track,” he concluded.
Despite Golding’s explanations, a number of fans are not happy with Snake Eyes talking and not wearing his mask.
Isaiahl76 wrote, “Snake Eyes doesn’t talk! And he doesn’t take his mask off! I hope this movie is good.”
MCJester0 wrote, “Just to remind everyone Snake Eyes is supposed to be a white guy, it’s part of his backstory. You know how people aren’t defined by their origin or background? But hey sure, Snake Eyes is a ninja so he has to be Asian?”
BlessedJedi wrote, “Umm, we’re bringing back GI Joe, and going with an unmasked talking Snake Eyes, right before Shangi-Chi comes out? Hmmm. I’m sure the movie will be fine, but I don’t trust they’ll build a world worth investing in. With the ending of the pandemic, I’ll wait for HBOMax or Netflix.”
And ParizerGummi wrote, “Snake Eyes is not From Asia. What’s this bloodyshit ?”
Hama would address this criticism in the comments of the aforementioned Facebook post.
He would write, “I really do not understand the continuity purists. Don’t they know that the entire 185 issue timeline to date is one long ret-con, and that I never had a structured long view.”
“I made up the story literally page by page. If I was still adhering to the same time line, all the main characters would now be in their seventies,” he continued.
Hama concluded, “I really love where the filmmakers have take it, and they have all done so with the greatest respect.”
Interestingly enough, Hama had different thoughts when Golding was originally cast to play Snake Eyes.
Back in August of 2019 he stated, “Some people are saying that casting Golding ‘fixes’ the character of Snake-Eyes, but I disagree.”
He explained, “I had wanted to keep him ambiguous until HASBRO introduced Storm-shadow as the only Asian character and made him a bad guy. I decided to “fix” that by delving into his background and gradually turning him into a good guy. This is why Snake-Eyes is a white guy.”
What do you make of Hama’s change of stance between Golding’s casting and now? What do you make of his defense of the changes being made in the film?