“The Daywalker” returns to the cinema screen yet again and faces an adversary that will be his greatest match yet” a vampire that predates even Dracula. Pre-production for the second sequel in the “Blade” franchise, “Blade III,” is now in full swing, with the lead roles of the new players now in the hands of casting agents (which we have been able to obtain). According to sources close to the production, the New Line film (bringing back Wesley Snipes in the central role, with Kris Kristofferson also set to star) will begin principal photography September 22 in Vancouver.
The storyline for the third film finds Blade joining forces with two vampire hunters, part of a group called the Nightstalkers, as they tackle the powerful and ruthless villain Danica Talos. After harvesting the superior blood of the ancestor of all modern vampires, Talos has resurrected the man now known as “Drake” (notice the modernization of the Dracula name) from a century-long sleep in the hopes of finally getting world control for all vampires. Blade, along with the Nightstalkers must unleash a virus that will kill all vamps— but only are given one chance to make it work.
Among the roles still to be cast and which the film’s casting director is looking to fill are:
- Abigail Whistler: A beautiful Caucasian woman in her 20s, Abigail is “cut like an Olympic athlete” and equipped with a walking arsenal of vampire-fighting weapons. Abigail is the daughter of Blade’s old partner Whistler (played by Kristofferson), and, like him, she’s an accomplished, deadly vampire hunter who lives and works with the Nightstalkers. Described in the casting notes as “determined, ruthless and unique (she likes to listen to her own music playlists on an MP3 player as she fights),” Abigail saw her whole family destroyed by vampires and, as she puts it in the film’s script, “Ever since I can remember I’ve had this knife of sadness in my heart. As long as it stays there, I’m untouchable. But the moment I pull it out—I’ll die.”
- Hannibal King: In his 30s, King is described as “an audacious vampire hunter with a flair for drama and often sporting an irrepressible grin.” He works with the Nightstalkers, having been saved by a scientist there after he was turned into a vampire himself by Talos and is an accomplished fighter with a wicked sense of humor and a seemingly endless supply of pretty good vampire jokes. Courageous and strong, with unbelievable stamina, King is captured by Talos and her henchmen in the film and beaten within an inch of his life—but the one vulnerable point he has (which Danica capitalizes on) is his terror of being forced to become a vampire again.
- Drake: The granddaddy of all vampires, not merely Count Dracula but a creature whose origins go back to ancient Sumeria, he’s endured centuries of upheaval and war, and has been summoned from a 100 year long sleep. And he’s not happy about it. An articulate and unspeakably strong “blur of bestial rage and unfettered horror,” Drake has a DNA peculiarity that allows him to be able to withstand the daytime’s sun, unlike modern vampires. He wants to use his blood to improve on their own physicality and ensure their future survival. An accomplished shape-shifter because of his mutable bone and cartilage, Drake wants nothing less than to be a god among his people, and acknowledges a worthy adversary in Blade (who, after all, is a hybrid who shares some vampire characteristics). The producers of the film are looking for an actor with an international presence.
- Danica Talos: An “intense, intelligent, beautiful and voracious” vampire with a regal air who appears to be in her early 30s to mid 40s, she’s the head of a band of vampires who’ve resurrected the ancient vampire “Dracula/Drake” in order to harvest his superior blood. Danica (who begins sleeping with Drake upon his resurrection) mobilizes her forces against the vampire hunters and engages in some intense pitched battles with Blade, Abigail and King.
Other roles also being cast include: Edgar Vance, a smooth talking pundit who firmly pooh-poohs the existence of vampires and publicly brands the outlaw Blade as a very sick individual (when, in fact, viewers learn that he believes very much in vampires, and is a “familiar” to them); Zoe, a 5-year-old whose mother is a scientist within the Nightstalker “family” and is watched over by Abigail; Grimwood, a hulking vampire with an imposing physique and an even more imposing set of surgical steel teeth/fangs; Asher, a natural born leader with an easygoing charisma, who is an accomplished fighter that has become a vampire; and Martin Vreede, another “familiar” who, as the chief of police, tells the public that Blade is a deranged individual who is himself the threat to society.
David Goyer, who has written the previous two installments of the comic book adaptation as well as this film’s screenplay, is set to helm. “Blade” and its first sequel earned $277 million worldwide.
Producers: Lynn Harris, Peter Frankfurt
Director/Writer: David Goyer
Casting Director: Ronnie Yeskel
Start Date: September 22, 2003