Beleaguered actor Wesley Snipes granted Entertainment Weekly a rare interview to discuss his various legal troubles which include a tax fraud beef with the U.S. Government. The article, which appears in the December 21st issue (#970) is an interesting read for people who have watched the actor go from the A-list to exile in direct-to-video land.
To readers of this site, of course, Snipes is best known for starring in 'Blade', the movie that some see as the first spark in the comics-to-film explosion. While the 'Blade' franchise was once strong, it fizzled badly in its third outing, 'Blade: Trinity'.
According to the article, following the utter failure of 'Blade: Trinity' Snipes file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against New Line, director David Goyer and the film's producers, seemingly over the fact that he was forced to give up screen time to Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel. Further, Snipes alleges he did not receive his agreed upon salary and was not afforded the decision-making power he was entitled to as a producer.
And while it was reported in many places during film that Snipes' difficult behavior on the set plagued the production, Snipes tells Entertainment Weekly that it wasn't his fault 'Blade: Trinity' flopped. It all comes down to racism.
"Systematic racism was used to divert focus away from the real issues of an incompetent director and inexperienced producers with a $60 million budget," Snipes is quoted as saying. "and onto the 'insubordinate, difficult, self-immersed actor.'"
Snipes alleges that throughout the development of the project, the producers and director were dismissive of his input, neglecting the fact that he is a true actor with varied and respected pedigree. He hoped to elevate 'Trinity' beyond a low-brow action vehicle, and was shut down or, in his words, treated like, "the new ho on the block."
"I found it fascinating to hear what people said about this project and how easy it was for people to jump on the 'Wesley's the bad guy,' bandwagon. That's where I think the systematic racism comes in. We're conditioned in this country to believe that if there's a problem, the black man is usually the culprit."
The button on the 'Blade' portion of the fascinating article is that Snipes holds hope that he'll reach an agreement in the lawsuit. Further, Snipes is also optimistic that, once things are settled, there will be a 'Blade 4'.