In the modern age of comic book-based film and television offerings, it is easy to forget the franchise that predated them all and proved once and for all that such things could be lucrative.
I’m talking about the Blade Trilogy series starring Wesley Snipes. The first joint was released in August 21, 1998 and nothing was ever the same. On March 22, 2002, Blade II was released to mixed reviews but was a raging success at a the box office. Directed by Guillermo del Torro and produced by Wesley Snipes, Blade II features everyone’s favorite daywalker going about his business, which is vanquishing vampires.
But this time around, Blade has to joined forces with an elite group of vampires to dispatch a threat to all of vampire and human kind. The “reaper virus” is mutating vampires and only Blade can stop them. It takes place two years after the events of the first Blade film. The positives were that the fight scenes were praised for capturing much of the same inventiveness and angles as the first film.
But even the biggest fans had to admit there were lines that were worth a groan or two. For example, the evil Dieter Reihardt is a vampire who is also a racist. Yeah, I know characters, and character development, are what make a thing pop.
The circumstances the protagonist and antagonist find themselves in are what propel the story forward. But a racist vampire? At the point I become half vampire and half human, race will immediately become irrelevant.
Blade II would net $101 million at the box office. Though it wasn’t Shakespeare, it has to be acknowledged that without the Blade Trilogy, an otherwise doubtful Hollywood exec would likely still being saying no to comic book-based films. Especially films featuring a Black protagonist.