Wesley Snipes reflects on the legacy of 1998’s Blade and reveals why he landed the role in what he felt would be a niche audience film.

Wesley Snipes reflects on the making of blade and why he took on the role of Daywalker. Blade will join the MCU, Kevin Feige announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, with two-time Academy Award winner Mahershia Ali playing the title character, who introduced herself with a voice cameo in the credits eternal. But before Ali, the man most associated with the role of Blade and who made the character a household name was Snipes, the star of films like White men can’t jump and Demolition Man.

After failing to get a Black Panther film off the ground, Snipes took on the lead role blade. Based on the Marvel character created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan, the film drastically revised Blade’s comic book origins and redefined the character. The film was released in 1998, after the release of disasters at the box office like Batman and Robin, steel and Spawn, which nearly killed the comic genre. blade was a box office hit, grossing $131.2 million worldwide, and helped usher in a new era of Marvel superhero films like X-Men, spiderman, and finally the birth of the MCU.


See also: Blade: How the Legendary Blood Rave Scene Came to Be

In conversation with to promote his new comic book, the exiles, which he created with writer Adam Lawson, Snipes spoke briefly about its creation blade and what motivated him to accept the role in the film. Snipes thought the film was a niche film, made for an audience that is fans of martial arts films and blaxploitation films Wave but was surprised by how much of a mainstream hit the film eventually became. Reflecting on Blade’s legacy, Snipes said:

“It is amazing. In the beginning, my motivation for the first Blade project was to have fun and do something that I knew my homeboys and homegirls would absolutely love. Those from the martial arts world. Those from the Shaft world and those who love kung fu and all that [Laughs]. We knew this would appeal to this niche audience, but I had no idea it would have broader appeal. However, it was a good lesson. It taught us what’s possible.”

Wesley Snipes Blade Movie 4k restoration blade in club

The franchise spawned two sequels in 2002 blade 2 by director Guillermo Del Toro and 2004 blade trinity, which featured longtime writer of the series David S. Goyer in the director’s chair, leading to an on-set feud between Snipes and Goyer. Snipes’ portrayal of Blade affected the character drastically, while later comics tended more to bring the film version. The film made Blade a Marvel icon in a way he wasn’t before, and in 2006 the character starred in a live-action television series and was a playable hero in the hugely successful video game Marvel Ultimate Alliance.

Despite the blade The film and television franchise was put on hold for over a decade, due in part to Wesley Snipes’ three-year sentence for tax evasion. The character remained a fan favorite. Recently made a member of the Avengers during Jason Aaron’s run in the comics, Blade has been a major figure in the Marvel Universe. The character’s introduction to the MCU is as anticipated as The Fantastic Four or the X-Men, and feels appropriate given that there probably wouldn’t be an MCU film without that first one blade Movie. The daywalker can finally get into the franchise he helped build.

Next: Blade 1998: Every Actor Considered (Except Wesley Snipes)


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