'Blade' at 20: Wesley Snipes on revelation that vampire film was almost whitewashed

Wesley Snipes had no idea that Blade was almost whitewashed until it was revealed recently by writer-turned-director David Goyer in an oral history of the 1998 film for its 20th anniversary.

“I wasn’t aware that that was part of the history,” Snipes told us Saturday at the San Diego Comic-Con (watch above), where he was appearing for his upcoming film Cut Throat City alongside director RZA (Wu-Tang Clan). He added with a snicker: “Can you imagine the creative individual who thought of that?”

Asked how a white Blade would’ve turned out, Snipes shot back: “Wouldn’t be this! That’s for sure, baby. Wouldn’t be as cool, let me tell you that.”

Snipes did get the gig, however. Marvel’s half-vampire, half-mortal superhero became one of the defining roles in Snipes’s long career, and spawned two sequels, Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004). The actor relished its success, noting how the film was an homage to classic blaxploitation cinema.

“The idea was that I was rehashing or at least touching the coattails of William Marshall, who did Blacula back in the 1970s, and the idea of having the Shaft coat, the long coat, and then being able to do martial arts. It was the perfect storm for me.

“It was a great opportunity to do something that was rare, and would be a lot of fun and loved by the cats in my neighborhood.”

Cut Throat City opens in 2019. Watch the trailer:

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