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The Bizarre Way Wesley Snipes Filmed Blade: Trinity

There are essentially two types of Blade fans these days: those psyched about the upcoming Mahershala Ali-starring MCU reboot, and those who are wary, because their Daywalker is, and forever will be, Mr. Wesley Snipes. 

As Snipes hasn't actually portrayed the half-man, half-bloodsucking vampire killer in nearly two decades — and in light of Snipes' support for the reboot — the steadfast fidelity of that second group remains as genuinely delightful as it is sort of baffling, particularly since the last time Snipes played Blade, things did not go particularly well.

Much of the overwhelming goodwill toward Snipes' Blade was undoubtedly built on the shoulders of the franchise's well-received first two offerings, Stephen Norrington's 1998 franchise opener "Blade" and 2002's Guillermo Del Toro-helmed sequel "Blade 2." As for 2004's would be trilogy-capper "Blade: Trinity," well, by some accounts it was an outright disaster well before it became a critically-reviled box office misfire. And by at least one of those accounts, Wesley Snipes himself was a key factor in the troubled film's supposed production issues.

That account comes from Snipes' "Blade: Trinity" co-star Patton Oswalt who, via a now infamous 2012 interview with The A.V. Club, claimed the face of the "Blade" franchise was a total diva behind-the-scenes of the film, spending his days locked away in his trailer and indulging in rampant marijuana use when he wasn't fighting with the film's director David S. Goyer (who had scripted the previous two entries). While much has been made of the Snipes vs. Goyer showdowns on "Blade: Trinity", if Oswalt is to be believed, things got so bad Snipes stopped speaking to Goyer, and wouldn't even come to set unless the director was shooting his close-ups.   

Wesley Snipes' stand-in apparently did the lion's share of work on Blade: Trinity

It should be noted, for the record, that Wesley Snipes has fervently denied the truth of Oswalt's tale, noting in a 2020 statement to The Guardian that, as executive producer on the film, he'd helped get Goyer into the Blade: Trinity director's chair in the first place, further offering that it's irresponsible to simply take one man's account as the outright truth in any matter. "This is part of the challenges that we as African Americans face here in America – these microaggressions," Snipes said. "The presumption that one white guy can make a statement and that statement stands as true! Why would people believe his version is true? Because they are predisposed to believing the Black guy is always the problem."

Oswalt's account, though, is quite detailed, with the actor stating, "Wesley [Snipes] was just f*****g crazy in a hilarious way." He claimed that Snipes only came down to the set when they were doing close-ups, leaving his stand-in to do most of the work. "I only did one scene with [Snipes]," Oswalt said. Explaining how this worked, Oswalt claimed that, "A lot of the lines that Ryan Reynolds has were just a result of Wesley not being there. We would all just think of things for him to say and then cut to Wesley's face not doing anything because that's all we could get from him. It was kind of funny."

Allegedly, things between Snipes and Goyer got so tense, Oswalt says, that Snipes would only talk to Goyer through sticky notes, signed "From Blade." 

Whatever actually went down, it seems pretty clear Snipes and Goyer didn't get along. If Oswalt's tale were wild conjecture, it's hard to say what he would gain from fabricating such a vivid account — other than a funny story, of course — but on the other hand, Snipes — who disputes nearly every detail of this tale — does make a valuable point about the importance not judging based on what one person says, without also getting stories from others involved.