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What You Need To Know Before You See The Snake Eyes Movie

"Snake Eyes" — the upcoming G.I. Joe film that tells the origin story of the titular ninja commando — hits theaters on July 23. The movie updates the character and the dormant film franchise, as it's the first G.I. Joe movie since 2013's "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." The action flick recently got its first trailer, and boy did it light up the internet. The film stars Henry Golding as Snake Eyes, the iconic masked soldier fans came to love from the G.I. Joe toys, the animated series, and myriad comics. A new, short featurette released on Twitter introduces the upcoming film's fresh take on the character.

"In the G.I. Joe comics, Snake Eyes is one of those characters that's had kind of a mysterious past," Golding says in the featurette. "He was famously known as the 'Silent Ninja.'" A masked, silent main character obviously creates big challenges for people trying to make a blockbuster action movie, so "Snake Eyes" is about how he became the silent killer. Presumably, this means we'll hear him speak. According to Entertainment Weekly, the movie will even reveal his real name for the first time.

Snake Eyes' backstory was created by writer Larry Hama in the Marvel comic "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero," which also featured a memorable 1984 issue called "The Silent Interlude," a wordless installment in which Snake Eyes infiltrates the Cobra Castle to rescue Scarlett. It's a stealth classic. Hama is the one who devised the story of how Storm Shadow (played in "Snake Eyes" by Andrew Koji) recruits and inducts Snake Eyes into the Arashikage ninja clan, which leads to a long, complicated relationship between the two men as Storm Shadow shifts his allegiance between G.I. Joe and Cobra. "Snake Eyes" will begin that story.

Snake Eyes is an important origin story

But it won't just be that story. "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," Golding says in the featurette.

That "more" is Snake Eyes' origin story before he lost his voice (in the comics, Snake Eyes was severely injured in a helicopter crash that left his face disfigured and his vocal cords damaged beyond repair). The story of Snake Eyes learning to become a ninja while training with the Arashikage in Japan has been described before, but never shown. "Snake Eyes" was filmed in Japan, which producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura says was "super important for driving the story."

"When you go to Japan, there's some energy that you pick up from actually being there," says Andrew Koji.

Hopefully it will restart the G.I. Joe franchise, and the studio can build a new film series on the success of "Snake Eyes." It's not just an origin story for the character, it's an origin story for the conflict between G.I. Joe and Cobra. "You come to realize the Arashikage as they've traditionally been are affiliated with the Joes, therefore that brings in Cobra," di Bonaventura told EW. "There is a gradual reveal that there's a larger world here."