Snipes, both the star and a producer of “Blade” 1 and 2, is
aware that “Blade” is one of the most well-received adaptations of a
comic-book hero on film. “Blade” is one of the few comic books to feature a
black action hero, but Snipes says he didn’t initially approach the role
from a socio-political perspective.
Realizing that he had an opportunity to show his range of acting skills and
the opportunity to show his martial-arts skills, it also became apparent
that there was a socio-political reward with him doing the film.
Snipes says he saw a great acting opportunity in playing the ultra-hip,
leather-clad daywalker Blade, who’s part-human, part-vampire. "I wanted to
extend my versatility, to challenge the artist in me, to see if I could take
something as abstract as a comic book character, flesh it out, make it be
believable and make people accept certain realities I create in the
character," Snipes says. "But I still want to return to drama and romance.
It keeps the acting muscles very sharp."
It took him four years to make the sequel to the original
“Blade.” He has been working a lot. He has been very busy. It has been a
combination of staying in shape, training and focusing on his film company,
Amen Ra Films - plus doing a couple of dramatic pieces in between.
In “Blade 2” they wanted to establish from the beginning that this would
be a much more urban world he lived in and that Blade listened to very
grass-roots, real types of things, and that kind of music. They try to make
a statement that all those Hong Kong movements don't really work in the
alleys of Harlem. “Ain't nobody buyin'!” They tried to keep Wesley’s unique
street-smart style rather than classic Hong Kong martial arts style.
The only thing he did a little different and focused on a little more for
“Blade 2” was the use of the sword. Our favourite actor – action director
Donnie Yen - helped Snipes’ crew to stage some of the fighting. I just
believe that Wesley should have fought Donnie Yen one-on-one in this film
because Donnie is one of the best right now. It would have been an awesome
The “Blade” experience.
The “Blade” crew knew that if they got a shot at doing this
film, they were going to bring on the components and elements that are so
always missing - things they felt they were missing as fans of these kinds
of films. They put themselves in the place of the viewers first.
They combined a certain style, fashion and music plus the hybrid nature of
all the different genres: comedy, action, and martial arts. And suddenly
there was a black guy doing it.
Usually, Wesley and his crew start off with a skeleton idea
and say okay, we want this kind of energy. And then they lay out the
movements. Then Wesley comes in and says “okay, let's do it this way, and
enhance that. And give me two more guys over that way. But wait a minute,
Blade wouldn't do that, he's going to do it this way. And bam, bam, bam....”
Then the crew tries to bring the emotional content back to it, not only in
terms of energy, but in terms of attitude as well. And once rehearsals
start, it's on. By then, they're all ready to go, and sweating. And the
ideas just start flowing. Like, “let's do this, and let's do that.” They
improvise a lot on the set.
Referring to the omnipresent, Peter Pan-like martial arts
of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Charlie’s Angels”, Snipes says he
keeps the action real in “Blade,” even though the super strong vampires have
some flying tricks of their own. The film crew didn’t want to do things that
suspend reality. They tried to make sure that the second “Blade” was a step
above the first film. They enhanced a lot of things. They made some critical
assessments of what things worked and what things didn’t, and then came in
with guns a-blazin’. Once the movie starts, it won’t let you go. It’s the
whole “Blade” experience.