Wesley Snipes Created Modern Superhero Movies With Blade And Now It’s Blowing Up

Wesley Snipes starred in 1998's Blade, and the movie is currently a top 10 streaming hit on HBO Max.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

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Blade, the 1998 superhero horror movie starring Wesley Snipes, is currently holding firm on the HBO Max top 10 streaming chart. The data was released by FlixPatrol, a platform that tracks viewership ratings across Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and more. The figures are based on the official trending or the most popular movies available via video on demand.

Directed by Stephen Norrington from a script by David S. Goyer, Blade is based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name. The story follows Eric Brooks/Blade (Wesley Snipes), a half-mortal, half-immortal, who plans to avenge his mother’s death by eradicating vampires. But he is also being hunted for his special blood, which has the power to summon an entity that wants to vanquish the human race.

The movie begins with Blade (Wesley Snipes) attacking a vampire-run rave club owned by Deacon Frost. When police take one of the vampires to the hospital, the monster feeds on hematologist Karen Jenson. She is rescued by Blade, who brings her to a safe house.

While treated by Abraham Whistler, Karen learns that Blade has been waging a secret war against vampires.

Meanwhile, a group of vampires, led by Deacon Frost, plan to use an ancient ritual to summon the blood God, La Magra. If successful, he will gain ultimate power over all humans and vampires. Frost believes Blade’s blood is the key to the ritual and searches for him.

But Blade (Wesley Snipes), Karen, and Whistler devise a plan to stop Frost and his followers.

The movie was a commercial success earning $13.2 million at the global box office. It was followed by two sequels, Blade II and Blade: Trinity, in 2002 and 2004, respectively.

Blade was a groundbreaking movie in the superhero genre, as it was one of the first successful adaptations of a comic book property outside of the Batman and Superman franchises. It paved the way for later Marvel movies, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which began a decade later. The film also had a massive impact on popular culture beyond the genre.

Wesley Snipes Blade

Its use of hip-hop, techno, electronic and alternative rock, and gothic imagery influenced the visual style of other movies and television shows, like the Underworld franchise and the Matrix trilogy. The film was praised for its stylish action scenes, choreographed by Jeff Imada, a renowned martial artist and stunt coordinator.

Wesley Snipes’ portrayal of the protagonist was also widely praised for bringing a cool and confident presence to the character. His physicality and martial arts skills added authenticity to the action scenes. The film’s supporting cast, including Stephen Dorff as the villainous Deacon Frost, Kris Kristofferson as Blade’s mentor Whistler, and N’Bushe Wright as Dr. Karen Jenson, also received positive reviews.

Moreover, the success of Blade helped to establish Marvel Comics as a major player in Hollywood. The film proved that a comic book movie could be both critically and commercially successful, which paved the way for other Marvel adaptations like the X-Men and the Spider-Man films. The movie also had an impact on the representation of Black superheroes onscreen.

Wesley Snipes’ portrayal of Blade was groundbreaking at the time, as he was one of the few Black actors to play a superhero in a major Hollywood movie. Snipes’ performance helped to expand the idea of what a superhero could look like and paved the way for other Black actors to play iconic comic book characters onscreen.

Wesley Snipes can next be seen in the upcoming comedy Back on the Strip. Directed and co-written by Chris Spencer, the film also stars Spence Moore II, Tiffany Haddish, JB Smoove, Faizon Love, and Kevin Hart. The story follows Merlin, who moves to Las Vegas to fulfill his dream of becoming a famous magician, but his plans are thwarted by his natural gifts and a place with a group of male strippers.

Wesley Snipes will also appear as Damon Moore in the upcoming series Paper Empire. Created by Robert Gillings, the story follows Laurence Fintch, the owner of Fintch Wealth Management Services, known as the most dangerous financial fraudster in history.