Interview with cast and crew
David S. Goyer, writer of all three Blade movies and director of Blade: Trinity, has all kinds of tattoos on his body and he's more than proud to show them off. His very first says, "Waving and drowing," with a little "n" inserted after the fact. Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King in what he eagerly describes as his favorite scene in 'Blade: Trinity.'
"I showed it to the guy when he first did it, and he said, 'I'm a tattoo artist, I can't spell!' And I said, 'Well, I'm a writer and I've got a spelling error on my arm!'"
Fortunately, according to star Jessica Biel, Goyer is somewhat better at directing than his tattoo artists are at spelling.
"With first-time directors, everyone's process is a little bit different," Biel said. "Going to set with David, I totally trust him. I don't feel like he's just flying by the seat of his pants. He knows what he's doing. He had confidence and I was confident in him. He was fun, it was like hanging out with somebody. He didn't have any kind of attitude or ego about him. And that's professional. That's what I like."
Not that he was going at it completely alone; the set had the feeling of a longtime group of friends. Previous Blade directors Stephen Norrington and Guillermo Del Toro kept calling in with ideas and designs that ended up in the final product. Goyer's sense of humor in the film is merciless, as when a reborn Dracula wanders into a gothic store and finds Dracula candy, Dracula vibrators, Dracula cereal.
"We made fun of EVERYONE in the movie," Goyer admitted. "I don't think anyone escaped unscathed. I don't want goth people mad at me. I just thought it was funny that our version of Dracula has become this merchandised commodity. Amazingly, we got the rights to use Count Chocula. I was SHOCKED that we got those rights."
Nerd-glee ran rampant through the production; Ryan Reynolds' brother was a huge fan of the Night Stalkers comics, and he gave Reynolds a shirt from 1977 of Hannibal King (the character Reynolds plays) smacking Blade around. Goyer even works in a scene of Blade reading his own comic book from the 1970s, The Tomb of Dracula, which introduced Blade and the Night Stalkers.
"That's my shout out to the origins of Blade and my own love of comic books. I love the idea of Blade holding a Tomb of Dracula comic. It's such a Grant Morrison/Alan Moore moment."
Was it daunting going into this as a first-time director?
"You know, no," he replied. "Gullermo [Del Toro, Blade 2 director] anointed me. He said, 'I think you're ready for this.' If I'm too plagued with doubt, then I shouldn't be directing it. Fortunately, I've worked with four really good directors, but after enough crappy directors, you start to want to do it out of self-defense. There are definitely some real stinkers I've worked with."
Goyer's Blade work earned him a shot for several years writing the Justice Society of America comic series, which taught him a lot about filmmaking.
"When you write a comic book, it's like you're writing a script but also writing the storyboard at the same time," Goyer said. "I did 45 issues of JSA, and that taught me a lot about graphically telling a story."
If anyone steals the show from star Wesley Snipes, it's Ryan Reynolds as wisecracking motormouth Hannibal King and Parker Posey as Danica Talos, psycho vampire dominatrix. When these two embittered ex-lovers meet at last in a brutal interrogation, it's Shakespearean in scope. If Shakespeare, you know, wrote about vampires and spike heels.
"I thought, 'What is the worst thing I could say to Parker Posey? I'd already said she had fangs in her vagina!'" Reynolds said. "There was this group of kids back in my school, the 'in' crowd, who called themselves the Thundercats. They were the cool kids that you couldn't approach. So my friends and I called them the Thundercunts. And the vampires in this movie reminded me of them. The vampires are the 'in' crowd, the cool kids. That's why you can't approach them and that's why you want to kill them. They followed me all the way through high school, but they'll always be the Thundercunts to me. That's where I came up with the insult 'Cockjuggling thundercunt.'"
Once you get Reynolds going about what appears to be the greatest experience of his acting life, he just doesn't stop.
"She [Posey] was my Ginger Rogers!" he exclaimed. "I was never so happy to work with someone my entire life. I look at it all as a dance, and I was happy to work with someone toe to toe, step to step. She's someone you can throw all the shit you want at, and she'll throw it right back and it'll smell worse. I wanted that scene to go on forever. I wish I was still shooting it."
I had only one important question about all this. "What the hell kind of school did you go to where the COOL kids call themselves the Thundercats?"
The future Mr. Alanis Morrisette just shrugged and gave a goofy smile. "It was fifth grade in Canada, my friend."
Reynolds, known more as the lead in Van Wilder than an on screen ass-kicker, was chosen out of Goyer's interest in casting against type.
"Ryan Reynolds is the polar opposite on screen and in real life from Wesley.
You could not find two people more dissimilar," Goyer said. "I think in the 1980s there were a lot of musclemen trying to act, and I'd really rather take a guy who can act and put the muscle on him."
He had equally high praise for Posey's standout work.
"The thing about Parker Posey is she's just a force of nature," Goyer said. "We had so much fun filming those two interrogation scenes, watching Parker and Ryan going back and forth."
Blade: Trinity may or may not represent the end of the franchise; though it ends on a satisfactorily concluding note, there's always the promise of more to come.