While the superhero genre didn’t truly explode in mainstream popularity until Bryan Singer’s X-Men and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man landed in 2000 and 2002 respectively, longtime fans of the genre will know full well that the legacy and importance of Stephen Norrington and Wesley Snipes’ Blade should never be overlooked.
Arriving only a year after Batman & Robin had seen the comic book adaptation circling the drain as a bankable form of cinema, the action-packed martial arts fantasy horror kicked serious ass at the box office by recouping its budget three times over, with Snipes effortlessly layering on the grizzled charisma to complement his undoubted ass-kicking credentials.
Almost a quarter of a century has passed since the actor first threw on the sunglasses and leather trenchcoat, but Blade is still regarded as a landmark for the Golden Age of big screen costumed crimefighting we live in today, something that wasn’t lost on Snipes in an interview with ComicBookMovie.
“It’s amazing. In the beginning, my motivation for doing the first Blade project was to have fun and to do something I knew my homeboys and homegirls would absolutely love. The ones from the martial arts world. The ones from the Shaft world, and the ones who love Kung-fu and all that.
We knew that would be attractive to that niche audience, but I had no idea it would have broader appeal. However, it was a good lesson. It taught us what was possible. A lot of things we didn’t imagine because we didn’t have the technical tools at the time, but we have them now. It’s a great time for us and I’m giddy over the possibility of the potential of doing some of the things we had imagined with the tools we now have available with this particular project.”
Some folks are still holding out hope for a cameo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s impending reboot, but let’s not forget that Wesley Snipes walked so that motherf*ckers wouldn’t have to ice skate uphill.