Paramount has found its ninja warrior.
Crazy Rich Asians breakout Henry Golding is in negotiations to star in Snake Eyes, a G.I. Joe spinoff centered on the popular commando from Paramount in partnership with Skydance and AllSpark Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Robert Schwentke, who helmed two installments of the Divergent franchise, is directing the action project that has Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Brian Goldner among the producers.
Snake Eyes is the ninja commando that first appeared in the 1980s as part of Hasbro and Marvel Comics’ relaunch of the toy line, dubbed G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
The character, who dressed in all black, never revealed his face and never spoke, stood out among the military anti-terrorist group and quickly established himself as the most popular. He sometimes carried out solo missions with his pet wolf, Timber; his archenemy is Storm Shadow, a ninja who is also his blood brother.
Paramount has made two G.I. Joe movies — 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and 2013’s G.I Joe: Retaliation — with acrobatic actor Ray Park playing Snake Eyes in both.
Evan Spiliotopoulos wrote the script for the solo installment, which is said to center on Snake Eyes seeking revenge for his father’s death by joining a ninja clan and in the process finding acceptance.
Golding made his feature debut portraying rich boy Nick Young in Crazy Rich Asians,which opened just one year ago. In that short time, he parlayed that into leading roles in the upcoming romantic comedy Last Christmas, with Emilia Clarke and Emma Thompson, and Guy Ritchie’s crime thriller The Gentlemen, which stars Matthew McConaughey. He also launched his own production company, Long House Productions.
With his trajectory moving as fast as an arcing shuriken, Golding's nabbing of Snake Eyes marks the actor’s first starring role in a studio feature, and a franchise at that.