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Sunday, November 7, 2004
WIZARD WORLD TEXAS: BLADE: TRINITY PANEL
ARLINGTON, Texas -- David Goyer, writer of all three Blade movies and also director of Blade: Trinity, brought the new blood with him to Wizard World Texas on Saturday.
Goyer and new stars to the franchise Ryan Reynolds (Hannibal King) and Jessica Biel (Abigail Whistler) appeared before an enthusiastic and capacity crowd. Goyer kicked things off with a never-before-seen clip from the movie -- where Blade is taken to the Nightstalkers' home base -- and then answered questions, along with Biel and Reynolds.
Following is a rundown of their comments:
* Biel on her character: "She's strong and smart. I loved her because she's equal with the guys. She can kick ass -- a vampire killing machine. I kind of think of her as the leader the Nightstalkers.
* Goyer on Abigail: "Abigail's in the place where Blade was in the first movie. She's just emotionally shut down and all she cares about is killing. She doesn't have time for a boyfriend. She just wants to kill, kill, kill -- that's where she's at."
* Reynolds on his character: "Hannibal King is an acerbic kind of fellow who is also part of the Nightstalkers. He was a former vampire and he was cured. He actually survived the cure in order to go back and kill Danica Talos. Basically, he doesn't live for killing vampires, he lives for killing for one specific vampire, the vampire that turned him."
Goyer said that was a slight change from the comic, with Parker Posey's Danica Talos taking Deacon Frost's spot. "She's kind of the female equivalent to what (Stephen) Dorff did in the first movie," Goyer said.
* Goyer said he had loosely planned for three films when he started on Blade, but changed the story for the third film.
"For me, it kind of says everything I want to say about Blade," Goyer said. "If we did a fourth movie, I would be hard-pressed for what that would be. Because there's a definite ending to this. But we'll have to see."
* Reynolds said training for the film was "the most intense physical thing I've ever done." He put on 20 pounds of muscle for the role.
"It was really, really hard work, but I loved it," Biel said. "I thought it was great. We got paid to work out."
She said she was in the gym six days a week and also took fight training and archery training.
* Goyer said Biel became very efficient in the archery.
"Near the end of the shoot, we wanted her to fire an arrow and fire it right at the camera," Goyer said. "Jessica is suspended in a safety harness about eight feet off the floor in this glass enclosure. And she's got to shoot down toward the camera. We had all this safety-plex, and the only thing that was exposed was just this tiny two-inch square directly in front of the camera lens.
"First take, the arrow goes straight down at the lens of the camera and destroys a $350,000 camera. And the New Line representative was horrified and I was like, 'Yesssss!'"
Goyer said there will be outtake footage of Biel's reaction to the shot in the DVD.
* Reynolds said his favorite scene in the movie is the fight with Triple H's capture. "It's encapsulated on film, and I thank God for that, because that's probably the finest moment of my life. Getting to go in a cage, and we spent three or four days shooting that."
Reynolds said his character's fighting style is far different than Wesley Snipes' Blade. "Hannibal is more of a street fighter. He'll like kick and bite balls if he has to," he said.
* Biel said she also enjoyed her big fight scene, which was shot in one large master. "I basically whupped 13 guys' ass," she said. "It was awesome and fun, and I didn't use a stunt double."
* Reynolds and Biel both said they would be interested in a Nightstalkers spin-off.
"Hannibal King is a character that it would be a share not to reprise in some way at some time," Reynolds said. "I just had so much fun. I look forward to reprising that character. It's a once-in-a-liftime character. David wrote Indiana Jones for a 27-year-old and I'm forever grateful for that."
"As long as David wrote it and all the same people were going to be attached, then absolutely," Biel said.
"Ultimately, it will be up to you guys if we see these characters again, whether it's with Blade or on their own," Goyer said.
* Goyer revealed that originally the Nomak character in Blade II was going to be Morbius, but Marvel decided to use the character separately. For the third film, he got the rights to use Hannibal King and Frank Drake.
He then thought it would be a more interesting dynamic to use a woman and quickly discarded thoughts of making Frank Drake into Frankie Drake.
"If we do another Nightstalkers film, I would probably use Frank Drake," Goyer said.
* Goyer described plans for DVD releases.
"When they release the DVD for Blade: Trinity, there will be two versions," Goyer said. "There will be a stripped-down single-disc verison that's cheaper. Then there will be a two-disc version that has an extended cut that's about 12 minutes longer and a 90-minute documentary and a bunch of other stuff.
"And there are plans -- and I've been talking to Guillermo del Toro and (Stephen) Norrington -- to do a boxed set of all three that would include a lot of new features. One of the things that that would include is sort of a director's version of the first Blade in which is Norrington is going to go back and spend about $4 or $5 million and shoot some stuff we didn't get to shoot and include some new special effects.
"And one of things we're going to do is a triple commentary, where Guillermo, Stephen and I do a commmentary together for all three films."
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