The Ultimate Marvel Film Guide: 1998-2004

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The Ultimate Marvel Film Guide:
1998-2004 | 2005-2009 | 2010-2014

Marvel is one of America's major comic book publishers. Founded as Timely Publications in 1939, it first branched into film in 1944 when it allowed Republic Pictures to make a 15-part Captain America serial. Despite being the most expensive serial that Republic ever made, the story contains numerous changes to the established Captain America character. It is believed that the scripts had been originally intended to be a serial featuring Fawcett Comics' character Mr Scarlet, only to be hastily re-written changing Mr Scarlet to Captain America when it became apparent that Mr Scarlet wasn't popular.

In the 1960s, writer Stan Lee created The Fantastic Four for the comic, followed by Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor1 and the X-Men. In recognition of this, Stan Lee would cameo in many films based on Marvel characters, including ones based on characters that he did not create.

The 1970s & 1980s

In the late 1970s, Marvel characters appeared in two campy CBS television series. Thirteen episodes were made of The Amazing Spider-Man (1977-9) while much more successful was The Incredible Hulk (1978-82). Both included feature-length spin-offs. In 1978 a 90-minute pilot for a proposed Doctor Strange television series was also made for CBS, however following disappointing viewing figures this was not made into a series. Two TV Movies featuring Captain America had also been made in 1979.

In the 1980s a film based on a Marvel character had a big-budget adaptation, Howard the Duck (1986). Sadly Marvel's credibility was dented when this became an expensive flop2. In 1989 an Australian production of The Punisher was made, which only received a limited release in some countries. It had made numerous changes to the established characters and, like Howard the Duck, was a financial failure.

The 1990s

In the early years of the 1990s Marvel aggressively expanded, purchasing toy and sticker book companies, especially toy company ToyBiz. In order to keep pace with these acquisitions, the price of individual comics was increased. Yet by 1993 the recession meant that fewer of the increasingly expensive comics were being purchased. With a 70% drop in sales, Marvel faced the threat of closure and filed for bankruptcy in 1996. In an attempt to stay afloat, the film rights to many of its characters were sold off cheaply while many Marvel executives fought bitterly to decide who would actually run Marvel. The film rights contracts stipulated that the company that purchased the film rights had to make a film within a limited time period in order to retain the rights, otherwise the rights would revert back to Marvel. Marvel typically agreed to receive only 5% of any film profits back from films made by other studios using their characters. 20th Century Fox purchased the rights to X-Men and also acquired the rights to Iron Man, although Fox sold the Iron Man rights back to Marvel in 1999. Universal Studios had the Hulk and after a legal dispute following the collapse of numerous smaller film companies, Spider-Man's rights were retained by Columbia Pictures. The Fantastic Four's rights were bought by Constantin Film in 1986 and retained in 1994 when a low-budget film was made and never released. They would later co-produce three Fantastic Four films with 20th Century Fox.

After a 1990 adaptation of Captain America received only a very limited cinematic release and an unreleased version of The Fantastic Four was made purely to retain the film rights, the first real Marvel film to hit cinemas worldwide since Howard the Duck was Blade, made by New Line Cinema.

The Films

The films based on Marvel comic characters are summarised and reviewed below, with recurring characters and actors listed in bold. Also listed are cameos stating which actors and other noteworthy people, particularly Stan Lee, briefly appear in the films. The guide also says whether or not the film has a post-credit or mid-credit sequence so you know whether to turn the television off as soon as the film appears to end or whether there is an extra scene to watch as soon as the credits have finished rolling.

Blade (1998)


DirectorStephen Norrington
StudioNew Line Cinema
PlotBlade, aided by his mentor Whistler, is fighting a war against vampires, especially a vampire called Frost. After aiding Dr Karen Jenson after she was bitten, he learns that Frost has a plan that involves using his blood to turn all mankind into vampires. Can Blade save the day after the nick of time?
Length120 minutes
Setting1967 & 1990s America
Characters
  • Eric Brooks aka Blade (Wesley Snipes)
    • Powers: A 'Daywalker', he was in his mother's womb when she was bitten by a vampire and so has vampire-like healing and strength.
  • Dr Karen Jenson, a haematologist (N'Bushe Wright)
  • Deacon Frost, a vampire wishing to take over the world (Stephen Dorff)
  • Abraham Whistler, Blade's mentor who fortunately doesn't sing (Kris Kristofferson)
  • Quinn, a vampire (Donal Logue)
  • Vanessa Brooks, Blade's mother (Sanaa Lathan)
  • Mercury, a vampire (Arly Jover)
Related Films
  • Blade II (2002)
  • Blade Trinity (2004)
Stan Lee CameoAs a cop in a deleted scene

This was the first Marvel character to have a successful cinema release in America, following the disaster that was Howard the Duck. Wesley Snipes signed up to make Blade when Columbia Pictures' plans for a Black Panther film in the early 1990s were abandoned. The film's inspiration includes Hong Kong action cinema, an ending straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) but perhaps the film was most inspired by Batman3 (1989).

Despite the fairly modest budget and simple, straightforward plot the film proved a great financial success, paving the way for two sequels as well as proving that not every Marvel superhero film had to be made for television or flop. This was despite the original ending having to be heavily re-written as it was originally unclear what was happening. The newer ending, in which the heroes try to prevent an Earth-threatening catastrophe, which then actually takes place with few consequences, is not much of an improvement.

Because of the terms of the story rights, Marvel only received $25,000 from the film despite it making $70 million. A scene from this film in which Blade is born would later appear in the Blade: The Series television series (2006).

X-Men (2000)


DirectorBryan Singer
Studio20th Century Fox
PlotIn the 21st Century a US senator wants to introduce a law requiring mutants, people born with special powers, to register themselves and their abilities. This provokes a powerful mutant named Magneto, who believes this is the start of a war with humanity, to embark on a plan involving a pair of mutants, Wolverine and Rogue. He plans to turn all the world leaders into mutants, not realising that this will result in millions of deaths. Only the X-Men, led by Professor Xavier who runs the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, can save New York from Magneto and his ruthless Brotherhood of Mutants.
Length104 minutes
SettingPoland 1944, 21st Century Canada and America
X-Men
  • Charles Xavier aka Professor X (Patrick Stewart)
    • Powers: Telepathy
  • Logan aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman)
    • Powers: Healing, adamantium skeleton including claws and ability to detect mutants by smell.
  • Dr Jean Grey (Famke Janssen)
    • Powers: Telekinesis and telepathy
  • Ororo Munroe aka Storm (Halle Berry)
    • Powers: Weather manipulation, allowing her to fly
  • Scott Summers aka Cyclops (James Marsden)
    • Powers: Uncontrollable ray beams when his eyes are exposed
Brotherhood of Mutants
  • Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen)
    • Powers: Ability to manipulate metal objects using magnetism
  • Raven Darkholme aka Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos)
    • Powers: Can shapeshift to impersonate anyone else, also incredibly agile
  • Victor Creed aka Sabretooth (Tyler Mane)
    • Powers: Rapid healing, strength, fangs and claws
  • Mortimer Toynbee aka Toad (Ray Park)
    • Powers: Ability to jump like a toad, long tongue and ability to spit slime
Gifted Youngsters
  • Marie aka Rogue (Anna Paquin)
    • Powers: Absorbs memories, life force and other mutants' powers through touch.
  • Bobby Drake aka Iceman (Shawn Ashmore)
    • Powers: Can create ice, including ice-sculptures, and reduce the temperature.
Other Characters
  • Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison)
Related Films
  • X-Men (2000)
  • X-Men 2 (2003)
  • X-Men III: The Last Stand (2006)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • Deadpool (2016)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Extended VersionDVD includes six extended scenes, most set at the school
Stan Lee CameoHot dog vendor on beach

The X-Men was the first big-budget, bigger box office success featuring Marvel characters, in a film in which the characters were successfully played by well-known and respected actors. This film set the template for all those that followed and showed how to make a superhero film with multiple characters.

Blade II (2002)


DirectorGuillermo del Toro
StudioNew Line Cinema
PlotBlade is asked by Damaskinos, the vampire ruler, to help them fight the Reapers, a new breed of vampire who feed off vampires and infects them with what they call 'Reaper virus', turning all their victims into vampire-feeding reapers. Knowing that if the Reapers are not stopped mankind too is doomed, he teams up with the Bloodpack, an elite team of vampires that had trained to hunt and kill him. Can they work together to stop the common enemy, and is there more to this than Blade realises?
Length117 minutes
SettingEarly 21st Century
Characters
  • Eric Brooks aka Blade (Wesley Snipes)
    • Powers: A 'Daywalker' vampire/human hybrid; he was in his mother's womb when she was bitten.
  • Abraham Whistler, Blade's mentor (Kris Kristofferson)
  • Reinhardt, aggressive Bloodpack vampire (Ron Perlman)
  • Nyssa Damaskinos, vampire heiress (Leonor Varela)
  • Josh aka Scud, Blade's new assistant (Norman Reedus)
  • Eli Damaskinos, vampire ruler (Thomas Kretschmann)
  • Jared Nomak, the first Reaper Vampire who feeds off other vampires (Luke Goss)
  • Asad, cat-like Bloodpack vampire (Danny John-Jules)
Related Films
  • Blade (1998)
  • Blade Trinity (2004)

The most successful film in the Blade series, Blade II is very confidently directed by acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro. What the plot may lack in sophisticated substance it more than makes up for in stylistic flair. Like the first film, there is a large degree of blood and violence. Damaskinos' appearance was inspired by Nosferatu (1922) and the nightclub the House of Pain is a reference to The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Spider-Man (2002)


DirectorSam Raimi
StudioColumbia Pictures
PlotAfter being bitten by an experimental spider, Peter Parker develops spider-like abilities. Meanwhile his best friend Harry's father Norman Osborn experiments on himself in order to develop a strength-enhancing serum, which results in his going mad. After Peter decides not to tackle a criminal committing armed robbery, he learns that his uncle Ben has been killed. This encourages him to become Spider-Man and fight injustice, just as Norman Osborn embraces his insanity, becoming a villain known as the Green Goblin.
Length121 minutes
Setting21st Century New York
Characters
  • Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire)
    • Powers: After a bite from mutated spider, Parker finds he can climb walls, shoot webs for swinging, grabbing and detaining purposes and has enhanced senses and speed etc
  • Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe)
    • Powers: After strength-enhancing drugs leave him mentally instable, he wears a powersuit that increases his strength and has a flying glider.
  • Mary Jane Watson, Parker's neighbour and love interest (Kirsten Dunst)
  • Harry Osborn, Norman's son and Parker's best friend (James Franco)
  • Uncle Ben Parker, Peter Parker's uncle (Cliff Robertson)
  • Aunt May Parker, Peter Parker's aunt (Rosemary Harris)
  • J Jonah Jameson, publisher of Daily Bugle, Parker's boss (JK Simmons)
Sequels
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  • Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Cameos
  • 'Macho Man' Randy Savage as Bonesaw McGraw
  • Macy Gray as herself
  • Bruce Campbell as Wrestling Ring Announcer
Stan Lee CameoMan rescuing girl from debris Green Goblin knocked down

It is surprising that it was not until 2002 that a Spider-Man film had been made, although episodes from the television series The Amazing Spider-Man enjoyed a brief theatrical release in 1978/9. In 1985 the film rights were bought by Cannon Films, who made an agreement with Columbia Pictures for funding. When Cannon Films faced bankruptcy their rights to Spider-Man were initially retained by 21st Century Film Corporation, but when their Captain America adaptation flopped in 1990 the rights were sold to Carolco and due to revert back to Marvel in 1996, but after Carolco went bankrupt in 1995 MGM acquired Carolco's films rights, which they felt included the right to make Spider-Man even though Columbia felt that their funding deal in the 1980s gave them the rights. This dispute over who owned the film rights was resolved when Columbia gave up their rights to James Bond films Casino Royale (1967) and Thunderball material in exchange for MGM's giving up their claim to Spider-Man, enabling Columbia to go ahead with making the film.

This film had the highest opening weekend gross of all time. Unlike other comic-book films, this was very much the first in a trilogy in which each film impacts the one after, with lasting consequences. Spider-Man would later appear in two further films in 2012-14 and would join the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2016.

Daredevil (2003)


DirectorMark Steven Johnson
StudioRegency Enterprises4
PlotAs a child Matt Murdock has an accident that leaves him blind, but with enhanced senses. After his father is murdered he grows up determined to serve justice, defending the innocent in court by day and being a crime-fighting vigilante called Daredevil at night. He later falls in love with Elektra Natchios, whose billionaire father is murdered by Kingpin's assassin Bullseye, who frames Daredevil.
Length103 minutes
SettingNew York City, 20th & 21st Century
Characters
  • Matt Murdock aka Daredevil, a blind attorney who fights crime by night (Ben Affleck5)
    • Powers: His strength, agility and remaining senses have been enhanced
  • Elektra Natchios, martial arts expert and daughter of Nikolas Natchios (Jennifer Garner)
  • Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin, criminal mastermind (Michael Clarke Duncan)
  • Bullseye, an assassin who can use anything to kill (Colin Farrell)
  • Franklin 'Foggy' Nelson, Murdock's legal partner and best friend (Jon Favreau)
  • Ben Urich, an investigative journalist (Joe Pantoliano)
  • Jack 'The Devil' Murdock, a boxer and Matt Murdock's father (David Keith)
  • Nickolas Natchios, billionaire and Elektra's father (Erick Avari)
Related Films
  • Elektra (2005)
Extended VersionDirector's Cut is 30 minutes longer
Cameos
  • Morgue assistant Kirby is played by director and writer Kevin Smith6
  • A number of Daredevil artists who worked on the original comic appear. Bill Everett plays Father Everett, the rapist is played by Joe Quesada and Frank Miller plays a corpse.
Stan Lee CameoMan about to walk in front of a car
Mid-Credits SceneBullseye awakes in a hospital bed

Daredevil is one of the weaker Marvel adaptations, with the consensus that Ben Affleck was not really suited for the role, for which he won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor. He would later play Batman, who like Daredevil is a night-time vigilante. Jon Favreau, who plays Foggy, would later direct Iron Man and Iron Man 2, cameoing as Stark's bodyguard 'Happy Hogan'.

This wasn't the first film to feature the character, as he had also appeared in 1989's TV movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. The Director's Cut is half an hour longer and considered to be much better, and restores a subplot in which Murdock defends a man wrongly framed for murder. A spin-off film, Elektra, was made in 2005. The rights to the character returned to Marvel in 2012 and in 2015 a Daredevil television series started.

X-Men 2 (2003)


DirectorBryan Singer
Studio20th Century Fox
PlotA telepathic mutant appears to attempt to assassinate the President of the United States while an anti-mutant warmonger called William Stryker captures Charles Xavier during a visit to the captured Magneto. Stryker, who blames his mutant son Jason for the death of his wife, has lobotomised his son and is using him to control mutants. He has long been experimenting on mutants, including on Wolverine, creating his adamantium claws and wiping his memory. Stryker framed the mutants for the assassination attempt in order to justify a raid Xavier's mansion as a step in his plan to wipe out all mutants using a brainwashed Xavier. When Mystique rescues Magneto they must all work together to stop Stryker.
Length134 minutes
SettingEarly 21st Century America
X-Men & Mutants
  • Charles Xavier aka Professor X (Patrick Stewart)
    • Powers: Telepathy
  • Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen)
    • Powers: Ability to manipulate metal objects using magnetism
  • Logan aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman)
    • Powers: Healing, adamantium skeleton including claws and heightened senses.
  • Dr Jean Grey (Famke Janssen)
    • Powers: Telekenisis and telephathy
  • Raven Darkholme aka Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos)
    • Powers: Can shapeshift to impersonate anyone else, also incredibly agile
  • Marie aka Rogue (Anna Paquin)
    • Powers: Absorbs memories, life force and other mutants' powers through touch.
  • Ororo Munroe aka Storm (Halle Berry)
    • Powers: Weather manipulation, allowing her to fly
  • Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming)
    • Powers: Can teleport himself and those he carries, normally only in line of sight.
  • Scott Summers aka Cyclops (James Marsden)
    • Powers: Uncontrollable ray beams when his eyes are exposed
  • Bobby Drake aka Iceman (Shawn Ashmore)
    • Powers: Can create ice, including ice-sculptures, and reduce the temperature.
  • John Allerdyce aka Pyro (Aaron Stanford)
    • Powers: Can control fire.
  • Yuriko Oyama aka Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu)
    • Powers: Similar to Wolverine she has healing abilities and extending adamantium fingernails.
  • Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat (Katie Stuart)
    • Powers: Can walk through walls
  • Piotr Rasputin aka Colossus (Daniel Cudmore)
    • Powers: Strength and the ability to make his body metallic.
  • Jason Stryker aka Mutant 143 (Michael Reid McKay)
    • Powers: Can create illusions, and creates a substance that can be used to control Mutants.
Other Characters
  • Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox)
  • Senator Robert Kelly7 (Bruce Davison)
Related Films
  • X-Men (2000)
  • X-Men III: The Last Stand (2006)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • Deadpool (2016)

Also known as X2, this is a confident sequel that manages to introduce a wide range of characters without confusion. Much of the story discussed in this film would influence the prequel film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, only with a different actor playing Stryker.

Hulk (2003)


DirectorAng Lee
StudioUniversal Studios
PlotWhen doing medical research with ex-girlfriend Betty Ross, Bruce Banner is exposed to lethal gamma radiation. Instead of dying, he starts turning into a strong, unstoppable creature called the Hulk whenever he is angered. He learns that his father Dave did not die when he was young as he had believed, but was experimenting on himself to create a super-soldier. Dave had inadvertently transferred his genetic modifications on to him. Meanwhile the military, led by Betty's estranged father, wish to contain and experiment on him.
Length137 minutes
Setting1960s and early 21st Century America
Characters
  • Dr Bruce Banner/Krenzler aka Hulk (Eric Bana)
    • Powers: Due to gamma-radiation exposure and genetic modification, turns green and strong when angry.
  • Betty Ross, Banner's girlfriend and co-researcher (Jennifer Connelly)
  • General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Betty's gung-ho father (Sam Elliott)
  • Major Glen Talbot, military scientist wishing to experiment on Hulk (Josh Lucas)
  • Dr Dave Banner, genetic scientist who experimented on himself when trying to create a super-soldier (Nick Nolte)
    • Powers: Can transform his body to become like anything he touches, whether material, water or even electricity.
Related FilmsThe Incredible Hulk (2008)
CameosFormer Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno as a security guard
Stan Lee CameoA security guard

Despite being a profitable film, Hulk was not as successful as Universal had intended. The film is generally seen as being slow, with too much dialogue and little action. One scene involves a helicopter flying over a desert lasts well over a minute in order for the helicopter to be seen from every conceivable angle. The film does have a stylish split-screen approach that mimics comic book panels, which usually works well but is on occasion distracting.

Marvel would regain the film production rights to The Incredible Hulk in 2006, although Universal retained the right to film distribution.

The Punisher (2004)


DirectorJonathan Hensleigh
StudioArtisan Entertainment & Marvel Studios
PlotAfter FBI agent Frank Castle's last assignment, to prevent an international arms deal, results in the dead of Bobby Saint, his father, crime lord Howard Saint, swears revenge and kills Castle's entire family and leaves him for dead. Upset, when he physically recovers his strength, Castle decides to punish Saint.
Length123 minutes
SettingTampa, Florida, America
Characters
  • Frank Castle aka The Punisher (Thomas Jane)
  • Howard Saint, money launderer and crime lord (John Travolta)
  • Quentin Glass, Saint's best friend (Will Patton)
  • Frank Castle Snr, Frank's father (Roy Scheider)
  • Livia Saint, Howard's wife (Laura Harring)
  • Castle's neighbours Spacker Dave, Joan and Bumpo (Ben Foster, Rebecca Romijn & John Pinette)
  • Maria Castle, Castle's wife (Samantha Mathis)
  • Will Castle, Castle's son (Marcus Johns)
Related Films
  • Punisher: War Zone (2008)
Extended VersionThe Extended Cut is 17 minutes longer

This was the second The Punisher adaptation as a previous film also called The Punisher had been made in 1989 starring Dolph Lundgren. In 2000 Marvel Studios had contracted with Artisan Entertainment to co-produce various Marvel films in which they would provide characters and have a financial stake in the success of the film. This was the last film made by Artisan Entertainment; in December 2003 while the film was in production Artisan Entertainment were purchased by Lionsgate Entertainment Inc8.

Although the film had a very small budget, it remains a visceral, violent action film. Rebecca Romijn had previously played Mystique in the X-Men films under her married name Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. Although a sequel was commissioned, when Thomas Jane chose not to return after being dissatisfied with the script it instead became reboot Punisher: War Zone.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)


DirectorSam Raimi
StudioColumbia Pictures
PlotPeter Parker is struggling in every possible way. He is failing in his attempts to juggle being Spider-Man as well as work a regular job, study at University and be there for his family and friends. Knowing that as Spider-Man he cannot commit to being with the love of his life for fear of endangering her, he eventually decides to stop being Spider-Man. However a terrible accident leaves a brilliant scientist, Dr Octavius, under the influence of evil sentient robotic arms and determined to complete an experiment that could destroy the city.
Length127 minutes
Setting21st Century New York
Characters
  • Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire)
    • Powers: After a bite from mutated spider, Parker finds he can climb walls, shoot webs for swinging, grabbing and detaining purposes and has enhanced senses and speed etc
  • Dr Otto Octavius aka Doctor Octopus & Doc Ock (Alfred Molina)
    • Powers: Has four artificially intelligent tentacles implanted to his back.
  • Mary Jane Watson, Parker's love interest (Kirsten Dunst)
  • Harry Osborn, Parker's best friend, he blames Spider-Man for his dad's death (James Franco)
  • Aunt May Parker, Peter Parker's aunt (Rosemary Harris)
  • J Jonah Jameson, publisher of Daily Bugle, Parker's boss (JK Simmons)
  • James Jameson, first astronaut to play football on the moon9 and MJ's fiancĂ© (Daniel Gillies)
Related Films
  • Spider-Man (2002)
  • Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Extended VersionSpider Man 2.1 is 8 minutes longer
Cameos
  • Hallucination of Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe)
  • Usher (Bruce Campbell)
Stan Lee CameoMan rescuing woman from falling debris.

Spider-Man 2 not only followed on nicely from the original film, with the events of the previous film both mentioned and strongly influencing the characters in this sequel, but was also strongly influenced by Superman II, in which Superman gives up his powers to be with the woman he loves. A critical and financial success, it won the 2005 Best Visual Effects Oscar. Considered to have set the benchmark for blockbuster sequels, alongside The Dark Knight (2008) it is considered to be among the very best comic book sequels of all time.

Blade: Trinity (2004)


DirectorDavid S Goyer
StudioNew Line Cinema
PlotBlade is framed by the vampires as a serial killer while they plan to resurrect Dracula, hoping he will restore them to power. Blade, meanwhile, reluctantly discovers he is being aided by a group of vampire-hunters called the Nightstalkers who believe they can kill all vampires.
Length113 minutes
SettingEarly 21st Century
Characters
  • Eric Brooks aka Blade (Wesley Snipes)
    • Powers: A 'Daywalker', he was in his mother's womb when she was bitten by a vampire and so has vampire-like healing and strength.
  • Abraham Whistler, Blade's mentor (Kris Kristofferson)
  • Dracula aka Drake, the world's first, and purest, vampire (Dominic Purcell)
    • Powers: Can change his appearance as well as walk in daylight.
  • Abigail Whistler, Whistler's daughter and a Nightstalker (Jessica Biel)
  • Hannibal King, former Familiar (vampire assistant) and now a Nightstalker (Ryan Reynolds)
  • Danica Talos, a vampire (Parker Posey)
  • Asher Talos, a vampire (Callum Keith Rennie)
  • Jarko Grimwood, a vampire (Triple H)
Related Films
  • Blade (1998)
  • Blade Trinity (2004)
Extended VersionYes, 10 minutes longer
CameosAn issue of Marvel's Tomb of Dracula comic is seen. This introduced Blade and Hannibal King
Post-Credits SceneYes, Blade driving along.

The final film in the series. Snipes reportedly was disappointed about Blade having a team of supporting characters, feeling side-lined and believing that the film was intended to set up a spin-off series featuring Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds10, and sued New Line. Snipes also fell out with the director, David S Goyer; Snipes had hoped to work with del Toro again, who was unavailable due to filming Hellboy (2004). The perception that Snipes was difficult to work with, combined with Snipes being imprisoned for income tax fraud, resulted in his spending three years in prison and prevented any further films being made, although there was a brief television spin-off series in 2006. By 2013 the rights to make Blade films returned to Marvel.

Looking Ahead

By the end of 2004, ten films had been made based on Marvel characters, creating five film franchises; only Hulk (2003) had not spawned at least one sequel. Yet despite this success, far more ambitious plans were in motion. In the near future not only would films be made based on Marvel characters, but Marvel planned to become a fully-fledged film studio in its own right.

The Ultimate Marvel Film Guide:
1998-2004 | 2005-2009 | 2010-2014
1Based loosely on the Norse legends.2It was declared the Joint Worst Film with Under the Cherry Moon at the 1987 Golden Raspberry Awards.3The Blade series scriptwriter, David S Goyer would later go on to co-write the Dark Knight Batman trilogy.4Co-produced with Marvel Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox5Scott Terra as young Matt.6Kevin Smith's film Mallrats (1995) features both Ben Affleck and Stan Lee.7Actually Mystique in disguise.8Also known as Lions Gate Entertainment and simply Lionsgate.9Who did he play against?10Ryan Reynolds would later play Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and Deadpool (2016).

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