While it seems like quite a long time ago at this point, during the 1990s, Wesley Snipes was arguably one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Films like New Jack City, White Men Can’t Jump, Passenger 57, Demolition Man, and the Blade series all made considerable bank at the box office, and Snipes entered the 2000s riding pretty high. Unfortunately, a contentious lawsuit against New Line Cinema over Blade: Trinity’s infamously troubled production followed by a federal prison sentence for tax evasion, brought Snipes’ star rocketing back down to Earth.
Snipes has made in-roads back into the Hollywood game in the years since his release – most recently starring in the quickly canceled NBC action series The Player and Spike Lee’s little-seen film Chi-Raq – but has yet to fully recapture the status he once held within the industry. Still, Snipes clearly has a desire to keep working on a regular basis, as evidenced by the fact that he has just signed a multi-picture deal with WWE Studios.
While WWE Studios has long been the target of ridicule – mostly for the sheer fact that it’s a movie producer owned by a professional wrestling company, and often includes wrestlers with questionable acting ability in its films – the organization has steadily been raising its profile in recent years, working with established stars like Jason Momoa, Halle Berry, and Colin Farrell on projects that felt more like actual studio movies and less like vehicles designed simply to promote WWE and its athletes. Critics still aren’t WWE Studios’ biggest fans, but that doesn’t change the fact that their product is now generally profitable, and they know how to market effectively to their fanbase.
Snipes’ partnership with WWE Studios will begin with the previously announced upcoming action/horror film Temple, which features him as the leader of a group of highly-trained military operatives that find themselves locked inside an isolated compound after the advanced A.I. system that runs the facility suddenly shuts down. As if being trapped wasn’t bad enough, Snipes and his team then have to contend with terrifying supernatural phenomena seemingly triggered by the aforementioned event. Starring alongside Snipes are Anne Heche (The Michael J. Fox Show), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters), and former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins.
For longtime Snipes fans, it’s easy to see his alignment with WWE Studios as a huge step down from his days of headlining wide-release blockbusters, and in some respects it objectively is. That said, this gig will provide him with a steady paycheck for at least the next couple of years – his second WWE film is set to enter production later in 2016 – and offer a chance for Snipes to continue to remind those who may have forgotten that he can kick ass on-screen with the absolute best of them. In short, while Blade 4 may continue to elude Snipes, there are way worse things he could be doing with his talents.
Temple is currently in production, and has no official release date.
Source: WWE Studios
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