Snake Eyes Comic-Con Panel
Q: Welcome to the official kick off to Comic-Con@Home 2021, with Snake Eyes! I’m Mari Takahashi and I am so excited to be your host today. Even though we’re not in person this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t meet up at a local movie theater tonight in select markets and be the first to experience Snake Eyes only on the big screen in the exclusive Comic-Con Fans First Premiere screenings.
But first, we will give you an inside look at the film we’ve all been waiting for, Snake Eyes, with special content and exclusive interviews from stars Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Haruka Abe, Iko Uwais, and Takehiro Hira, as well as the original writer of the GI Joe: A Real American hero comic books, the legend himself, Larry Hama. But don’t worry, we won’t be giving away any spoilers here, but we will be pulling the mask off the origin story we’ve all been waiting a lifetime for. Our first stop, you know her from her killer performance in Ready or Not, playing the crossbow-wielding Scarlet, don’t mess with this lethal weapon. It’s Samara Weaving.
Samara Weaving: Hello, my name is Samara Weaving, and I’m very, very excited to be a part of Comic-Con@Home. I wish I was there with you guys, but alas.
Q : In this film, Scarlet represents the GI Joes. Let’s find out how Samara felt about taking on such a big responsibility.
Samara Weaving: Very nerve-wracking. Very exciting. Very daunting, But ultimately very, very cool. She is Alita. Such a badass.
Q: One thing that this film delivers on is action. So, how does an actress like Samara train for an adventure this big?
Samara Weaving: Woo hoo hoo! The training we went through! It was tough, but really, really fun. And we had such an incredible team. My beautiful stunt double Jacqui Geurts is a real-life Scarlet.
Q: All of that sounds epic, but I think we’re really dying to know about the relationship between Scarlet and her arch-rival Baroness.
Samara Wearing: Ah, Scarlet and the Baroness. Well, they have a complicated history. They were quite close, but they ultimately disagreed on the fundamental, moral ideals.
Stunning and dangerous, thank you Samara. One of the coolest things about Snake Eyes is that the production shot in Japan to achieve an unmatched energy only being on location can bring. Japan’s not only an incredible location in this film, it becomes a character.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura: Shooting in Japan was super important for driving the story.
Henry Golding: Some of the locations that we filmed at were just amazing. Thousand-year-old temples, and Himeji Castle being one of the greatest locations.
Andrew Koji: When he goes to Japan, there’s some energy that you pick up from actually being there.
Henry Golding: And because Japan plays such an integral role, it was so important to get that right.
Q : It’s always great to see the beauty and mystery of Japan captured for the cinematic experience. I mean, it’s really breathtaking. Now, let’s get even more insight into shooting these amazing locations from someone who is very familiar with Japan. A really, really good guy and an even better bad guy, Takehiro Hira. Being Japanese himself, Takehiro was the perfect ambassador for this global cast.
Takehiro Hira: We ate so well, we went to ramen shops, sushi places all over Tokyo and Himeji. Úrsula was the leader in the gourmet department and so she somehow found all the good restaurants and took us there. Andrew ate all the eels, twenty or thirty of those one night.
Q: While the cast was clearly in good hands with Takehiro, let’s hear about how much fun he had being a bad guy.
Takehiro Hira: You have to be careful, because when you go home, you still carry the badass. But when you come home, maybe not, so you’ll get your ass kicked by your kid, then your wife.
Q: Takehiro-san, thank you so much. The official Snake Eyes profile is mostly classified, that is, until now, so who better to talk about the unknown origins for an unknown origin story than the original writer of the GI Joe comic books, the genius behind the silent interlude, the one, the only Larry Hama.
Larry Hama: This is Larry Hama, and I’m really happy to be here.
Q: Even though Larry spent a ton of time dreaming up Snake Eyes’ world, walking onto the set of the movie was a whole new experience.
Larry Hama: I was totally surprised and I was just amazed with the detail everywhere you looked, meticulously researched detail.
Q: The relationship between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow was always at the heart of the comics and this film takes it even further.
Larry Hama: The basic scenario and the story had to be updated. It gives you a deeper sense of who both of these characters are, because Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes are really the two sides of the same coin.
Q: Now every Snake Eyes fan knows his identity has always been a secret, but even Larry was excited about giving the fans a face behind the mask. Could have been this face. But it’s not! It’s Henry’s face. Thank goodness. Alright Larry, take it away.
Larry Hama: There’s an entire history of Snake Eyes that I never really delved into. It adds a whole dimensionality to the character that couldn’t exist when faceless and voiceless. He’s somebody that could bring a real gravitas to the role.
Q : What a true comic book icon! Thank you so much, Larry. Next up, we’re going behind the scenes to experience incredible martial arts action brought to you by legendary fight coordinator Kenji Tanigaki.
Henry Golding: We all know Snake Eyes as this absolute weapon, so with Kenji Tanigaki, we did such an intensive training course.
Kenji Tanigaki: Many movies just have a sword fight. Or a gun fight. Car action. But this movie has everything.
Kimani Ray Smith: Kenji is a myth, a legend, a god.
Kenji Tanigaki: Kimani, when we shoot, we are on the same page.
Henry Golding: All of the actors, they really breathe these characters through the training. We can do every single thing that was thrown at us.
Q : That looks amazing! Now, let’s check in with another member of our cast and cut even deeper into this stunning fight choreography. I can’t say cut even deeper with a sword in front of me and not show the – we all want to see it, right? I know I’m not supposed to touch this but, ah! Oh my gosh. Yo. That is so – no, don’t touch it? I’m getting a don’t touch it. It is from the movie? Okay. Back to it. If you’ve never seen The Raid, you’ve missed some of the most incredible cinematic fighting in years. So joining us all the way from Indonesia, playing Hard Master, please welcome global star Iko Uwais.
Iko Uwais: I love working with Kenji. I totally respect him as a fight choreographer and I love his style.
Q: As you can imagine, with these two legends working together, the fights in Snake Eyes are absolutely epic.
Iko Uwais: It’s a very good balance between hand-to-hand combat and with weapons.
Q: Now it’s one thing for veteran fighters like Iko Uwais and Kenji Tanigaki to dish it out. But how did Snake Eyes himself, Henry Golding, measure up?
Iko Uwais: Even though he’s not known as a martial artist, he managed to put the right kind of emotion and thought in his fight scenes. It’s like he’s been doing this for years.
Q: He may come off as a soft-spoken person, but trust me, you do not want to mess with Hard Master. Even though Snake Eyes is opening on the 23rd and premiering across the country and the Comic-Con Fans First premiere is happening in cities around the country tonight, we’re here to tease you about this epic saga, not give anything away, but I think this next piece will definitely let you know that, while Snake Eyes is very much a standalone film, it lives and breathes within the GI Joe universe. Let’s take a look.
Q: I always love those GI Joe PSAs. It’s a veritable cornucopia of worldly knowledge. Now, let’s get back to our incredible cast. When we talk about energy and intrigue on the big screen, raising the game, deliciously devious, never knowing whose side she’s really on, we can only be talking about Baroness. And who better to play this cunning and alluring character? Joining us all the way from her home in Spain, you should know her from Money Heist, and if you don’t, watch it now, trust me. The infinitely, talented, the one and only, Úrsula Corberó.
Úrsula Corberó: Hello guys, I’m Úrsula Corberó. I’m playing the Baroness in Snake Eyes, and I’m very excited to join you at Comic-Con this year.
Q: Let’s hear what she has to say about taking on the role of the villainess and working with such an international cast.
Úrsula Corberó: I had so much fun playing the Baroness. She’s a powerful woman, she’s always in control. Also very manipulative, very clever, but at the same time, she never loses her sense of humor. In short, she’s a badass. This has been my first movie in Hollywood. When I started shooting, I didn’t speak a lot of English, so it was challenging to communicate with my castmates. But now, not only do I understand my colleagues, but I love them so much.
Q: One of the most captivating things about Baroness is her relationship with Scarlet, and in this film, their rivalry goes to a whole new level.
Úrsula Corberó: They’ve known each other for a long time. They used to be close friends at school, but they drifted apart, and ended up on opposite sides of the law. I think guys, you’re going to love it.
Q : Thank you so much for joining us, Úrsula. As you know, Snake Eyes does not become Snake Eyes without the Arashikage clan. We’ve already spoken to the film’s Hard Master, but Snake Eyes had another teacher on this journey. Unfortunately, our Blind Master, Peter Mensah, wasn’t able to join us today. At its core, a film like Snake Eyes is all about martial arts and swordplay, culminating in fighting sequences that will blow all of us away. Ready to elaborate is an actress who lights up the screen with some electrifying Catana work, while embracing the virtues of strength, loyalty and wisdom. Playing Akiko, someone that Henry Golding himself called insanely badass, please welcome Haruka Abe.
Haruka Abe: Can I just be a fangirl for a second and say that I love Comic-Con, and it’s always been one of my dreams to come here with a film, so I am super excited to be a part of Comic-Con@Home.
Q: Well, Akiko may be the least-known character in the film, but Haruka made sure she could go toe-to-toe with legends like Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.
Haruka Abe: Akiko is Arashikage’s head of security. She’s a very capable fighter, she’s a rational thinker, and she is fiercely loyal and protective of the clan.
Q: Pulling off this level of action wasn’t easy. Let’s hear about some of the physical demands of bringing Akiko to life.
Haruka Abe: Yes, it was a very physically demanding role. Four hours a day, every day, for two and a half months before filming started. And then I’d go home with my practice weapons and head straight to the gym and go over everything I learnt that day. It was hard, but it was the best kind of hard.
Thank you, Haruka. I’m so excited to talk to our next guest, one of the most iconic and mysterious characters from the world of GI Joe, Storm Shadow. Even his name sounds like a mystery. And now, finally we get to learn more about Snake Eyes’ only brother, not by blood, but by honor, played by Warrior’s Andrew Koji, the one, the only Storm Shadow.
Andrew Koji: Great to be here, Mari. I’m looking forward to answering some questions for our Comic-Con@Home fans.
Q: Now, the relationship between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes has always been at the forefront of the GI Joe universe. What do you think makes it so compelling?
Andrew Koji: The relationship between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes is a very yin and yang. For an actor, it’s very rich to explore the psychology and behavior and the reasons why. I think there’s a lot about two brothers that go into battle together. It’s such an interesting dynamic.
Q: Fans of yours know that you’re no stranger to big action. How did you approach the combat in this film, though?
Andrew Koji: We were trying to find the style of how Storm Shadow moves. I very much based it on Miyamoto Musashi, an ancient Japanese warrior from back in the day. He used a double sword, which is obviously Storm Shadow’s iconic weaponry. You just have to get used to it, figure out the fundamentals and practice that, and then once you know it, then they’re just like an extension of your body.
Q: And last but definitely not least, what it is about ninjas that makes them so fascinating?
Andrew Koji: Basically, there’s not much that people know about them. They’re a warrior culture and they’re very much branched from the samurai, but they’re covert operators in the Shogun era. Their moral codes can sometimes tow a certain line. This fascinates a lot of people.
Q : Well, something tells me that we’ll get to see some of that classic Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes tension in this film. Comic-Con Fans First premiere of Snake Eyes is in cities across the US tonight. And now, ready to join us, the man behind the mask, please welcome Henry Golding.
Henry Golding: Hey, Mari! Hey, Comic-Con@Home fans. I’m so excited to be here and for everyone to finally see Snake Eyes.
Q: We’re so excited to have you here. Henry, what are you most excited for this fans to see in this film?
Henry Golding: Of course, the action. The creation of that iconic relationship between Snake and Storm Shadow. But also, the launching of this entire franchise.
Q: Tell us about the reactions you’re getting from GI Joe fans around the world since they found out you were playing Snake Eyes.
Henry Golding: There’s been an amazing outreach from fans all around the world for the chance to see the man behind the mask, to understand the relationships that have brought him to the place where we all know him as that weapon. We finally sort of have a peek into Snake Eyes himself.
Q: I had a chance to chat with Andrew about this earlier, but why do you think the relationship between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow has been so compelling to GI Joe fans for all these decades?
Henry Golding: The relationship between Snake and Storm has always been one of the most iconic. One minute, they’re brothers, the next they’re adversaries, the next they’re kind of fighting towards a greater good, but we need to understand where all of that stems from, and this film showcases that.
Q: Can you tell us about some of your favorite moments on set?
Henry Golding: Man, there were countless favorite moments for me. But of course one of my definite favorites had to be the car carrier scene, which unfolds with just your heart in your mouth.
Q: Okay, before I let you go, what is it about ninjas that makes them so cool?
Henry Golding: I think it’s the dedication that they put into honing their skills to accomplish missions. I think we’ve all pretended at some point in our childhoods to be ninjas, or even to be Snake Eyes.
Q: Thank you, Henry. I want to give a big thanks to everyone today, including you all watching. And also our guests, who are finally making it possible to bring the Snake Eyes story to the big screen. Sadly, we’ve come to the end of our show. My name is Mari Takahashi and it has been my absolute pleasure to be your host today and I hope you all go see Snake Eyes when it hits theaters July 23rd. And let’s face it. I know everyone wants more Snake Eyes before we go, so Henry, any last words for the fans?
Henry Golding: Yes, thanks, Mari. Now, I know, I’ve been saying that this is a tease and we won’t be giving any spoilers, but since Snake Eyes: GI Origins premieres tonight exclusively for fans first, there’s a chance I might be at one of those screenings. If not, check us out in theaters everywhere this weekend. Thank you to all the fans. We’ll be seeing you at the movies. Yo Joe!
Here’s the trailer of the film.