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Feature: Blade: Trinity
The Blade Master
Writer and director David S Goyer talks to us about the challenges of bringing this latest Blade movie to the big screen
A producer, director and writer for the small and big screens, Goyer has penned the scripts for such feature films as The Puppet Masters, Kickboxer 2: The Road Back and Dark City. He served as co-producer on Mission to Mars, and also executive produced the TV series Sleepwalkers and FreakyLinks. As a kid growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Goyer wanted to write comic books. In 1998, he eventually realized his dream, albeit in a slightly different fashion, when he brought a comic book legend to life in the movie Blade, for which he wrote the script. It stars Wesley Snipes as the half-Vampire, half-mortal who becomes protector of Humankind while also slaying evil bloodsuckers.
“I was interested in doing a new kind of Vampire film and something that hadn’t been seen in theatres before,” recalls Goyer. “At the time, New Art, which is an art house of sorts in Los Angeles, was showing a Hong Kong film festival. It was there that I saw such movies as The Bride with White Hair, A Chinese Ghost Story along with some of its sequels, and also Once Upon a Time in China. I thought they were quite remarkable and that got me thinking about a project that could also showcase that particular type of film-making and its unique brand of stuntwork and wirework.
“Around the same time, I began talking with Mike De Luca [president of production] at New Line Cinema about Blade. He and I are both comic book fans, and although Blade was a very obscure character we thought it was a potential vehicle for a movie. Mike and I also realized that we could incorporate into such a project some of the elements from those Hong Kong films I just spoke of. So I pitched the idea for Blade to the people at New Line and they loved it. When it came to casting, we considered Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes and Laurence Fishburne. In the end we felt Wesley was the best choice, so an offer was extended to the actor and he accepted.
“Although Mike De Luca really believed in the idea, there were, oddly enough, incredibly low expectations going into the project in terms of the studio world at large. I mean, back then, nobody was keen on comic books films. The Marvel [Comics] movies that had been made prior to this were with New World and weren’t terribly good. And certainly no one was interested in a comic book film that was R-rated. Also, there were challenges with having a black lead in a film that wasn’t a comedy. Hollywood initially wasn’t as receptive to that as they are today and, I hope, will continue to be. The nice thing about Blade was I never thought of it as a ‘black’ movie. To me, it was kind of incidental that the character was black. You could, in fact, have black leads in films that weren’t specifically black movies. I was quite happy about and proud of that.”
by Steven Eramo
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