Phantom Menace's Ray Park Cast as Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe
That G.I. Joe movie is picking up quite a bit of steam recently. Just a few weeks ago we ran an update announcing Sienna Miller had joined the cast and a release date had been set for August 7th, 2009. Today our friend Peter at SlashFilm picked up an exclusive scoop: Ray Park, aka Darth Maul from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, has been cast as the character Snake Eyes, one of the original G.I. Joe members. Now are all of you fanboys excited for this?
Snake Eyes is a mysterious character with little known about his background or identity, beyond that he holds the rank of U.S. Army Sergeant First Class (E-7). Hasbro has released over 30 different versions of the character since its original debut in 1982. The "ninja master" is known for his stealth like movements and extensive knowledge of multiple forms of martial arts, and is usually always masked and wearing complete black.
Ray Park, known for his performances as the acrobatic Darth Maul and Toad in the first X-Men, is in a way like Andy Serkis (Gollum, King Kong) or Doug Jones (Abe Sapien, Silver Surfer), who best perform physically and without any specific facial recognition. The reason why he's always cast for these kind of roles is at least because he holds a second degree black belt in Wushu and came in second place at the 1995 world championships.
Here's the official plot synopsis for the G.I. Joe movie:
From the Egyptian desert to deep below the polar ice caps, the elite co-ed GI JOE team, based from it’s headquarters The Pit, deploys the latest in next-gen spy and military equipment to fight crooked arms dealer Destro and the growing threat of the mysterious COBRA organization from plunging the world into chaos.
More casting is on its way as this starts to come together. For now, putting Ray Park in this is probably one of the best moves director Stephen Sommers could have ever made. Not only does this solidfy the interests of many hardcore fans out there, but this means Snake Eyes is going to be one acrobatic badass. If Darth Maul could kill a jedi, what kind of mayhem will Snake Eyes the ninja master bring about?
G.I. Joe is directed by Stephen Sommers (Deep Rising, The Mummy, Van Helsing) and written by both Stuart Beattie and Skip Woods. The movie arrives in theaters on August 7th, 2009.