The G.I. Joe Snake Eyes spinoff movie in the works from Paramount, Hasbro and AllSpark will not star previous Snake Eyes actor Ray Park. Originally announced back in May, the spinoff recently named Robert Schwentke as director, after previously hiring Evan Spiliotopoulos (Beauty and the Beast) to write a draft of the script. The announcements come as Paramount and Hasbro team up to launch a series of movies based on classic toy lines.
Of course, G.I. Joe has already made its way to the big screen twice before, first in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and then in 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The new spinoff will focus on one of the most popular characters from those movies, and indeed one of the most popular of all the classic G.I. Joe figures, the mysterious mute ninja Snake Eyes. Actor Ray Park, who also portrayed Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Solo: A Star Wars Story, originated the role of Snake Eyes in the two prior films.
Now Snake Eyes will return to the screen for his own spinoff movie, but producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura and company are taking things in a different direction, and Ray Park mostly likely will not be part of the plan. Speaking to Slash Film, DiBonaventura explained why Park is probably out as Snake Eyes. He said:
"Because we are going to the origin story. As you know in the comic book, you saw his face. And it is, I’ll say, the formation of a hero. So you’ve got to see somebody and it can’t be Ray’s age, unfortunately.”
So, DiBonaventura’s remarks officially confirm that the Snake Eyes spinoff will be an origin story starring a younger actor. If the film sticks with the Marvel Comics version of the character, the story will see Snake Eyes as a returning war veteran who learns his family was killed in an accident, and in his grief gives himself over to training in the ways of the ninja. Snake Eyes later becomes a hermit living with a wolf named Timber, but is eventually recruited to join G.I. Joe. While on a mission, Snake Eyes’ face is damaged by a helicopter explosion and he receives extensive plastic surgery, which is why he dons a mask and never speaks.
Of course, there’s been no official word that this is the story Spiliotopoulos and Schwentke will stick with as they develop their Snake Eyes origin tale. Like so many franchises based on comic books and toys, G.I. Joe has an extensive canon that offers up plenty of material, but sticking to canon obviously is not always the top priority for film studios when trying to develop new projects. It'll be interesting to see what younger actor is ultimately chosen to take on the role of Snake Eyes in the first G.I. Joe spinoff, now that Ray Park is on his way out.
Source: Slash Film