Knowing is half the battle, and this weekend the world will get to know one of the most popular ninjas in the G.I. Joe franchise in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. Based on the Hasbro toy line, the film will explore the story of Snake Eyes before he joined the G.I. Joes. Henry Golding will star as the titular character, replacing Ray Park from the first two films.
Over the years, Snake Eyes has been a mainstay of the G.I. Joe franchise as he’s one of the few characters to appear in every series of the franchise since its inception. Known for his vow of silence and masked face, Snake Eyes will be the first G.I. Joe film to show the character as a speaking-unmasked adult. Some things will not be changed in this franchise reboot, as fans will be happy to know that the rivalry with his Cobra counterpart Storm Shadow/Thomas “Tommy” Arashikage (Andrew Koji) will still be displayed on the big screen.
Since the G.I. Joe action figures were introduced in 1982, the adaptations for film and television have managed to change with the times. Fans that grew up with the action figures in the 80s and 90s will be able to witness a more modern take of the characters in the Robert Schwentke directed film. Before you enjoy the nostalgia on the big screen, here are 5 must-watch G.I. Joe properties available for stream.
The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
Predating the action figure franchise, The Story of G.I. Joe was the inspiration of the name behind the popular Hasbro toy. The film is a tribute to American infantrymen (aka Government Issue Joe) told by war correspondent Ernie Pyle.
The Story of G.I. Joe was well-received with four Academy Award nominations: Robert Mitchum (Best Supporting Actor), Ann Ronell for “Linda” (Best Original Song), Louis Applebaum and Ann Ronell (Best Score), and Leopold Atlas, Guy Endore, and Philip Stevenson (Best Screenplay). Not only was the film critically acclaimed but in 2009, it was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress due to its historical and cultural significance.
Where to watch? Now streaming on YouTube
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
The Rise of Cobra was the first G.I. Joe movie to be adapted into a live-action feature on a $175 million budget that went on to rake in $302.5 million at the box office. Directed by Stephen Sommers, the film features an ensemble cast: Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dennis Quaid, Ray Park, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sienna Miller, and Byung-hun Lee.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
Due to the financial success of The Rise of Cobra, Paramount Pictures and Hasbro developed a sequel with returning stars Byung-hun Lee, Ray Park, and Channing Tatum. They were joined by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Willis in the military sci-fi action Jon M. Chu directed sequel. Critics found Retaliation to be a superior film compared to Rise of Cobra, but it hasn’t sparked the third film in the expected trilogy yet, even though it made $375.7 million at the box office.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983-1986; 1989-1992)
Marvel Productions and DIC Entertainment produced two G.I. Joe animated series with 140 episodes over the span of nearly a decade. The DIC Entertainment series serves as a continuation of the Marvel series based on the popular Hasbro toyline. The difference between the 2 shows was their focus on the popular characters/toys of the time, but as a whole the animated series was well-received. It was ranked at 19 on the list of the Top 100 animated shows in history.
G.I. Joe Renegades (2010-2011)
Airing for 26 episodes, Renegades steered the franchise into a fresh direction. The Joes are on the run after being accused of crimes they did not commit. The show only lasted for a single season but it is remembered for its homages to popular 1980s A-Team series.
G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 (2005-2007)
Fans of the franchise that are looking for something different will love Sigma 6. The show was noted for having younger versions of the characters in a sleek anime style. The series would run for 3 years but was polarizing to Joe fans that preferred the traditional version.
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will be available in theaters on Friday, July 23, 2021.