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BLADE

About The Characters
Peter Frankfurt recalls the producers' mandate in the search for a director: "We were looking for someone who could bring a contemporary attitude, along with unlimited imagination to the screen

Peter Frankfurt recalls the producers' mandate in the search for a director: "We were looking for someone who could bring a contemporary attitude, along with unlimited imagination to the screen."  Stephen Norrington, a young British filmmaker who had directed a number of notable music videos, was not the least bit interested in making a typical Vampire Film.  "Stephen didn't want to do anything that smells or tastes like a vampire movie," states Frankfurt.

Wesley Snipes was the trigger in bringing Norrington onto the project.  Snipes was overwhelmed by the director's feature film debut, Death Machine.  "It's got amazing special effects, especially considering the moderate budget they had to work with," says Snipes.  "It's now on my list of all-time great movies."

Snipes and Norrington met for dinner in New York, and the actor was immediately impressed with the intelligent young director.  "He has one incredibly vivid imagination," praises Snipes.

For their part, the filmmakers recognized that Norrington had terrific intuition, as well as the requisite chutzpa to push the creative envelope.  His extensive background in visual and special effects would be extremely valuable in making a futuristic, sci-fi action thriller.  Norrington's enthusiasm for the project and unconventional approach to the material persuaded the producers to bring him on board.

"Stephen Norrington has delivered a film which is a fabulous illusion, yet seems like reality," declares Frankfurt.  "It's eerie and disturbing, because it's so real, it makes you consider the possibility that vampires really do exist."

Snipes agrees with Frankfurt's appraisal.  "Blade presents a shadow world where the bridge between what's real and what's unreal is very small."  According to the actor, Blade is a phenomenal movie.  "It's got everything: great acting, great action, pumping music.  It's an entertainment smorgasbord.  Blade is a really hip soldier."

Blade is an action jamboree.  And Wesley Snipes, whose many credits include such internationally acclaimed action films as Passenger 57, Rising Sun and Demolition Man, claims that Blade has been the most physically challenging role of his career.  It was a role Snipes was anxious to undertake.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time.  Blade gave me the opportunity to pay homage to some of the classic Asian films," explains the actor, who is a trained martial artist.  "We're doing things with swords and other weapons, and wires ... things that seem to be only done in Hong Kong."  According to producer  Frankfurt, the fight sequences reflect the character of the film's superhero.  "Blade is highly disciplined, and that influences the way he wages war.  He moves with almost surgical precision."

Snipes worked closely with Norrington and stunt coordinator Jeff Ward in choreographing the film's many demanding fight and action sequences.  In Frankfurt's view, the close collaboration between Snipes, Norrington and Ward produced unique results.  "They're an interesting amalgam.  I don't think we've ever seen this mix of sensibilities in the movies before."  Snipes, who performed many of his ow

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