Mahershala Ali may be in fittings for his own black leather jacket as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Blade continues through development, but for nearly 25 years, the role has belonged to Wesley Snipes. The 58-year-old actor played the vampire hunter in three Blade films, with the final entry, Blade: Trinity, unfortunately leaving the franchise limping along to an exit. And over the years, rumors have spread regarding Snipes and writer/director David S. Goyer having a physical altercation on set.
Back in 2012, Blade: Trinity cast member Patton Oswalt claimed that the “troubled production” once led to Wesley Snipes trying to strangle David Goyer. The filmmaker has now responded to those rumors with these words:
Let’s just say I have tremendous respect for Wesley as an actor. He used to be a friend. We’re not friends anymore. I am friends with Patton, and I worked with Patton since, so … I don’t think anyone involved in that film had a good experience on that film. Certainly, I didn’t. I don’t think anybody involved with that film is happy with the results. It was a very tortured production.
While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, David Goyer did not talk about whether the attempted strangling happened or not. He simply shared that he is no longer friends with Wesley Snipes, but is on talking terms with Patton Oswalt. It’s a peculiar response that keeps the rumor mill rolling and certainly asks us to read between the lines.
According to Patton Oswalt’s story on the subject, he shared that one day on set, the cast was allowed to pick their own clothing, and there was one Black actor who decided to wear a shirt that said “Garbage” on it in big letters. When it came time for Wesley Snipes to be part of the scene, he allegedly called the director a "racist motherfucker" for allowing the one other Black guy in the movie to have that word on his clothing, leading to him attempting to strangle David Goyer.
Last year, Wesley Snipes was asked about Patton Oswalt’s claims and he had a more straightforward answer involving what happened. As he claimed:
Let me tell you one thing. If I had tried to strangle David Goyer, you probably wouldn’t be talking to me now. A black guy with muscles strangling the director of a movie is going to jail, I guarantee you.
As Wesley Snipes puts it, he believes the facts lie in the detail about what might happen to a Black actor such as himself if he was violent toward a director like David Goyer. The Blade actor said that if it was true, he would not be the respected working actor he is today, recently finding roles in Dolemite Is My Name, Coming 2 America and Cut Throat City.
Blade will return with Mahershala Ali taking on the role for the MCU, with director Bassam Tariq reportedly helming the movie. As far as the Wesley Snipes situation, David Goyer could have easily dispelled the rumors by simply sharing it did not occur, but he chose not to speak directly about. Since the claims have not been confirmed or denied by Goyer, what happened on the set of Blade: Trinity looks like it may remain a mystery for some time.