In an explosive panel already overflowing with exciting announcements, Marvel’s biggest bombshell in this year’s San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) was the cinematic return of the vampire hunter Blade. With award-winning actor Mahershala Ali now inheriting the role that defined Wesley Snipe’s career, Blade’s big-screen comeback is set for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) upcoming Phase 5.
With Blade’s return all but set in stone, there’s no better time than now to revisit his original trilogy to see where the Daywalker’s one-man war against vampires began. However, some of the most interesting things about the half-human and half-vampire can be found outside of his movies. Here are 10 facts about the Blade franchise that you may not have known before.
10 Blade Saved Marvel Movies And The Superhero Genre
Blade wasn’t just Marvel’s first critical and financial success in cinemas (then best-known for Howard the Duck), but also the first real superhero success after disasters like Batman & Robin and Steel. If it weren’t for Blade, studios would never have gambled on Spider-Man and X-Men, effectively killing the comic book movie boom before it even began.
9 Blade Fought Vampires On TV
The short-lived Blade series aired on Spike TV with rapper Sticky Fingaz in the title role while the famous anime studio Madhouse made a Blade miniseries that was part of the Marvel Anime anthology. Both shows were modest hits that failed to meet high expectations, leading to Blade’s hiatus until this year’s SDCC revelation.
8 The Origins Of Ice Skating Uphill
As it turns out, these were the exact words that Snipes used to describe Frost during the brainstorming sessions. According to the movie’s DVD commentary, director Stephen Norrington and writer David S. Goyer loved the line so much that they incorporated it into the final script, resulting in one of the strangest yet most unforgettable action movie quotes to come out of the ‘90s.
7 Morbius The Living Vampire Almost Fought Blade
Goyer wanted to tease Morbius’ appearance as far back as Blade with the intention of using him as the villain of Blade II. Due to the fact that Morbius was a Spider-Man character owned by Sony, this never came to be. But like Blade, Morbius will be seen in cinemas soon thanks to his own upcoming movie.
6 Stan Lee And Michael Jackson Had Scrapped Cameos
Stan Lee was the cop who discovers Quinn’s burned corpse after the opening massacre of Blade, but this was cut. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson was supposed to be a vampire pimp in the House of Pain in Blade II, but he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
5 Wesley Snipes Loves Blade II
In an interview, Snipes expressed his love for the character and how tough it was to reprise him. He accepted the challenge wholeheartedly, drawing admiration from director Guillermo del Toro who said that “Wesley knows Blade better than David Goyer, better than me, better than anyone else involved in the franchise.”
4 Oliver Hirschbiegel Almost Directed Blade: Trinity
The incomplete project in question was Downfall, the critically-acclaimed biopic about the last days of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Since then, Hirschbiegel has said that finishing his Hitler movie was the right choice. Goyer, who wrote all of the Blade movies, directed the sequel instead.
3 Blade: Trinity Was Originally Mad Max With Vampires
Previously, Goyer planned to set the sequel in a Mad Max-styled post-apocalyptic Earth ruled by vampires while the surviving humans and Blade form a resistance. Thinking it was too similar to Planet of the Apes, Goyer dumped the idea and reined back the story’s absurdity, missing the opportunity to make a truly crazy and potentially awesome Blade movie.
2 Filming Blade: Trinity Was Almost Impossible
According to some cast and crew, Snipes refused to work with Goyer because he hated him being chosen to direct the sequel. He didn’t even follow simple directions like opening his eyes, leading to awkward CGI being used to show Blade waking up. Snipes also deliberately made things difficult by locking himself in his trailer and smoking weed all day, only communicating through post-it notes signed by Blade.
1 Wesley Snipes Hated Everything About Blade: Trinity
Some allegations include: changing the script and minimizing his role without warning, not being paid justly, and instances of on-set discrimination and racism that Goyer ignored or perpetuated – all this despite Snipes being a producer. Snipes’ requests to hire a multiracial cast and crew like in the first two movies were ignored, with producers using a mostly white production company. The case was resolved for an undisclosed amount of money.