Stephen Norrington’s 1998 smash-hit, Blade, was an important movie for Marvel. It was the first blockbuster adaptation of one of the comic publisher’s characters and showed that what worked on the page could very well work on the big-screen too, presuming you have the right creative team involved. It helped make Wesley Snipes one of the biggest action stars of his day, and soon a sequel was put into development. With Norrington bailing to make The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (a decision he would regret), the director’s chair was left vacant. New Line levelled up when they signed Guillermo del Toro, who was still relatively early in his career, to direct the sequel. Using it as a bit of a training ground before tackling Hellboy, del Toro elevated the sequel by emphasizing the horror aspects while not shying away from the carnage.
In this fun sequel, Wesley Snipes gives a much looser performance as Blade, which also brings Kris Kristofferson’s Whistler back from the dead to be a mentor/sidekick once again. Some of del Toro’s favourite actors, including Ron Perlman and Luke Goss, have roles. The premise is fantastic, as Blade has to team with an elite unit of vampires to eliminate a more significant threat.
The film was a box office success that was a bit overshadowed by the fact that 2002 also saw the release of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, but it remains a perennial favourite of many Marvel movie fans. We dig into its making in this episode of Marvel Movies Revisited, which is written, narrated and edited by Kier Gomes.