We’ve known that Takehiro Hira would be playing the villain in Paramount’s upcoming G.I. Joe origins movie Snake Eyes for a while now, but not much has been revealed about his mysterious character, who is believed to be an original villain created exclusively for the movie.
Speaking with Hira earlier this month while promoting his latest release Lost Girls and Love Hotels, the accomplished Japanese actor was generous enough to share details about his role in the Robert Schwentke-directed spinoff.
“I’m playing the villain in Snake Eyes, the G.I. Joe film,” he tells us. “I think it’s an original character who’s not in the comics, so he’s brand new and that’s pretty much all I can say right now. *laughs*
He’s Japanese, he could maybe be Yakuza too, *laughs*, but yeah, it was a fun experience. You know, there’s Snake Eyes (Henry Golding), and then there’s another guy Storm Shadow (Andrew Koji)… I’m sort of his half-brother or something like that.“
His comments may essentially confirm an earlier report from That Hashtag Show, who revealed that the film would indeed introduce an original villain, then named Kenta.
They said in 2018, “Kenta is revealed to Storm Shadow’s brother who has long since left his family, the Arashikage, and joined with a rival ninja clan, the Kurayami. It is Kenta who attempts to lure Snake Eyes away from the Arashikage and into a terrorist plot being devised by Cobra.”
While Hira wasn’t allowed to divulge much else, he did speak about the extensive training he and the entire cast received to prepare for the tough shoot. “We trained for about a month and a half in Vancouver, so hopefully it’ll be good.“
He isn’t a formally trained fighter, but admits to having picked up a few skills throughout his nearly twenty-year career that he’s more than ready to show off in the upcoming 2021 spinoff. “I haven’t been trained properly I guess, but along the way, I’ve learned things here and there and picked up a few tricks. I know some sword fighting, Japanese sword fighting, which is really cool.“
Henry Golding (The Gentlemen) will headline the feature with a supporting cast consisting of Andrew Koji (Fast & Furious 6) as Storm Shadow, Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) as Scarlett, Úrsula Corberó (The Secret Life of Pets) as Baroness, Haruka Abe (47 Ronin) in an undisclosed role, Iko Uwais (The Raid) as Hard Master and Takehiro Hira (Giri/Haji) in an undisclosed role.
Snake Eyes hits theaters October 22, 2021