Say what you will about its CGI today, but if we didn’t have 1998’s Blade, we may have no Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let me tell you, there was probably no cooler hero than Wesley Snipes at this point in time. Ah, it’s still pretty rad today.
New Line almost made this movie as a comedy, but after Snipes couldn’t get Black Panther made, he was able to get the main role in this one. To me, the best part of the film is the relationship between Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) and Blade, but I’d still be interested to see what it would have been like if Patrick McGoohan or Marc Singer had taken the role.
As for the main bad guy, Deacon Frost, Jet Li, Mark Wahlberg and Skeet Ulrich were all up for the role, but it belongs to Stephen Dorff. You kind of have to respect a bad guy so evil that he keeps the hero’s mother a vampire for decades.
Actually, all of the vampires are great here, even in the minor roles for Donal Logue, Udo Kier (who has been in the vampire films Blood for Dracula, Spermula, Die Einsteiger, Modern Vampires, Shadow of the Vampire, Dracula 3000 and Bloodrayne) and Traci Lords. Director Stephen Norrington (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) was supposed to play Morbius the Living Vampire, but the part was cut.
N’Bushe Wright also makes a great partner for our hero as Dr. Karen Jenson, as she works to determine a cure for Blade’s vampirism. But hey — he’s the Daywalker. He pretty much will always be a vampire determined to kill all the others.
How cool is it that Marvel’s first big movie success came from a side character from the 1970’s Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan The Tomb of Dracula series? Sadly, while those creators got a “based on characters created by” credit, they didn’t make any extra money. Such is how comics has always screwed creators.