Wesley Snipes might be best known as an action hero, but the first few years of his career were largely spent in drama and comedy. After making his feature debut in 1986’s Wildcats, the actor appeared in lightweight sports comedies Major League and White Men Can’t Jump, crime thrillers New Jack City and King of New York, and he collaborated twice with Spike Lee on Mo’ Better Blues and Jungle Fever.
It wasn’t until his eleventh big screen credit, and just his third time taking top billing, though, that Snipes finally unleashed his martial arts prowess and innate action star charisma in Passenger 57. The plot follows former cop John Cutter, who flies out of Los Angeles to start a new anti-terrorism job at an airline, but a criminal is on the same flight. After he’s freed, Cutter has to stop the bad guys and save the day.
It’s a highly formulaic set up that can easily be surmised as ‘Die Hard on a plane,’ but Passenger 57 was a decent-sized success at the box office after earning $66 million on a $15 million budget, and while reviews weren’t exactly overwhelmingly positive, everyone was in agreement that the genre had unearthed a real diamond. From that day on, Snipes was a bona fide action star.
Talk of a sequel has reared its head every now and again over the last three decades, but nothing has ever materialized. However, a document revealing 22 films that were allocated tax credits by the California Film Commission has been leaked online this week and one of the titles on the list is Passenger 58. While that’s not a lot to go on, the project is set up under a Warner Bros. subsidiary, the studio who produced the first one, so it might indeed be on the cards.