Samara Weaving signs on for the G.I. Joe spinoff Snake Eyes, ahead of filming beginning this week. Paramount is hoping third time's the charm for the G.I. Joe franchise, after having mixed success with the first two movies in the live-action series. Unlike 2013's G.I. Joe: Retaliation, however, the upcoming Snake Eyes spinoff is a full-blown reboot that recasts the G.I. Joe task force, a decade after G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra originally brought them to the big screen in non-animated form. Henry Golding will be leading the way as Snake Eyes, taking over the role previously played by Ray Park.
The movie has already filled out most of its lead roles, including Snake Eyes' teacher Hard Master (Iko Uwais) and his brother-turned sworn enemy Storm Shadow (Andrew Koji). More recently, Úrsula Corberó signed on to costar in the film as Ana Lewis aka. The Baroness, the head of intelligence operation for the G.I. Joe property's big bad Cobra. Now, another key female character has been cast in Snake Eyes.
According to Variety, Weaving will costar in the spinoff as Shana O’Hara aka. Scarlett, taking over the role that was previously handled by Rachel Nichols in Rise of Cobra. In a related tweet, THR's Borys Kit revealed that Snake Eyes begins filming in Vancouver this week, and will move to Japan sometime over the next few months.
Weaving has quickly emerged as a new scream queen thanks to her recent roles in the critically acclaimed action-horror-comedies Mayhem and Ready or Not, in addition to her turns in the Netflix horror-comedy The Babysitter and Starz's Ash vs Evil Dead TV show. Like the rest of the Snake Eyes cast, she's still an up and comer and has yet to anchor a big hit by herself. Thanks to her performances in movies like Ready or Not, though, she's far from a stranger to physically challenging roles. That experience ought to serve her well playing Scarlett, what with the character (who was the very first female member of the G.I. Joe squad introduced in the original toyline back in the early '80s) being a master of martial arts and acrobatics, among other things.
As talented as Weaving and her costars are, though, it remains to be seen if Snake Eyes turns out better than the first two G.I. Joe movies. With Robert Schwentke (RED, Insurgent) directing from a script by Evan Spiliotopoulos (Hercules , The Huntsman: Winter's War), it's just as easy to imagine the film - which is an origin story for Snake Eyes - becoming an enjoyable crowd-pleaser as another misbegotten attempt to make the Hasbro brand work in live-action. Paramount has smartly scheduled the movie to arrive mid-October next year, rather than pitting it against the bigger tentpoles of the summer or late fall/early winter. Whether that's enough to ensure Snake Eyes' success, only time will tell.