New Line

It's been 20 years since "Blade" hit theaters and proved that movies based on Marvel characters don't have to suck (unless we're talking about bloodsucking).

Without the R-rated "Blade," there may never have been an X-Men franchise or a Marvel Cinematic Universe. So to honor the anniversary of this landmark superhero movie, here are ten things you might not know about this Summer of 1998 sleeper hit.

1. While the movie was largely shot in Los Angeles, a map Blade holds suggests that the story takes place in New Orleans.

2. In the comics, Blade originally had no superhuman abilities apart from his immunity to vampire bites. Marvel eventually overhauled the character to bring him more in line with the movie version.

Marvel Comics

3. Early development for "Blade" began in 1992.

4. At one point, LL Cool J was considered to star in the film.

5. While far from the first movie based on a Marvel Comics property, "Blade" was only the second after 1986's "Howard the Duck" to receive a theatrical release in the US.


6. Prior to starring in the "Blade" trilogy, Wesley Snipes announced his intention to play Black Panther. Unfortunately, that project didn't come together until much later.

7. "Blade" is one of the few modern Marvel movies not to feature a Stan Lee cameo. However, Lee did indeed film a cameo as one of the cops investigating the killings at the film's opening sequence at the slaughterhouse . His scene was cut from the finished film.

Marvel Studios

8. Wesley Snipes is actually nine years older than actress Sanaa Lathan, despite the fact that she plays his mother in the film. Good thing vampires don't age.

9.Jet Li was offered the part of Deacon Frost, which would have made "Blade" his first American movie role. He went with "Lethal Weapon 4" instead.

10. The original cut of the film featured a much different final battle between Deacon Frost and Blade, one in which the former transformed into a massive blood monster, the god La Magra. A poor reaction from test audiences to the sequence's low-fi CG depicting La Magra forced New Line to significantly retool this sequence into the fight we now see.

Marvel Comics

11. An alternate ending to the film features Blade being watched by a mysterious, shrouded vampire. This scene was intended to set the stage for the Spider-Man character Morbius to be a major antagonist in the sequel.