How Wesley Snipes’ Role As “Blade” Paved The Way For Marvel Cinematic Universe

Wesley Snipes is set to debut a series of dark graphic novels and Halloween is right around the corner. SOHH let’s take a look back at Marvels first live-action depiction of Blade.

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Wesley Snipes’ career-defining role as the half-human, half-vampire hybrid Blade debuted in theaters on August 10, 1998. Snipes is now set to return back to the world of comics as the Exiled, a series of books unmistakably featuring his Blade-era likeness are set to be released.

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SOHH with Halloween underway, let’s take a look at how his films set the stage for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel’s First R-Rated Movie

Before the release of the Deadpool movies, Marvel’s first foray into darker material was with Blade. It was unlike their past films at the time like the slapstick comedy Howard the Duck or Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four flop. 

With the blood-soaked opening fight scene and more than a few “F” bombs, the film set itself apart from Marvel’s live action predecessors by grounding their characters.

Blade Popularized Dark + Gritty Tones

Blade’s realistic tone and aesthetic are part of what drew audiences to the theater. Blade was born prematurely after his mother was bitten by a vampire and subsequently died. 

The Zack Snyder Superman films and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy were also inspired by Blade. David S. Goyer, the screenwriter for the Blade sequels also co-wrote the scripts for the Christopher Nolan Batman films.

Blade Sparked The Vampire Craze

Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer or its spinoff, Angel debuted on the WB, including Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series were even conceptualized, Blade definitely led the way.

Fun Fact: Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer wrote and directed the first two Avengers movies.

With the exception of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview With a Vampire, SnipesBlade was a modern vampire that audiences could connect to and fall in love with at that time. His humor and charisma both on-and-off screen made him an ideal hero to many as evidenced by the litany of Halloween costumes that celebrities like Khleo Thomas have donned in the past.

Snipes Was Born To Play Marvel’s First Black Led Superhero Film

Believe it or not, there were other actors who were considered for the role of Blade. Studio executives were also considering Denzel Washington and Lawrence Fishburne

Given their respective careers, it’s no surprise as to why they were also excellent candidates. However, Snipes is also a trained martial artist in Shotokan Karate and Hapkido, making him more qualified for the iconic part.

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Blade Paved The Way For Modern Marvel Movies

Based on the commercial success with Blade, further interest was garnered in adapting comic books to the big screen. Marvel began to greenlight production on more feature films about their characters. 

The Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire, the series of X-Men films starring Hugh Jackman, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole came to fruition due to them striking while the iron is hot. 

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How The Wayans Paved the Way For Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Keenan Ivory Wayans, the oldest of the Wayans brothers, shifted how the Superbowl held halftime performances as fans know it today. Keenan’s skit comedy show, In Living Color, played a big-time role in why fans look forward to the halftime show of the Super Bowl every year. 

In fact, before the 1993 episode, most people utilized the time to do other things while halftime was on. It wasn’t until a special episode challenged the Super Bowl.