COMIC-CON: Goyer, Biel & Reynolds on Blade: Trinity!

New Line presented the anticipated Blade: Trinity at this weekend’s Comic-Con and writer/director David Goyer, Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds were on-hand to talk about the December 10 film and to show two clips. Biel plays Abigail and Reynolds plays Hannibal, the two Nightstalkers who team-up with Blade (Wesley Snipes) to hunt down the ancient creature that is also hunting Blade. Here’s what was said!

David Goyer: Batman can beat everybody. We’ve long ago established Batman can beat Superman.

Jessica Biel: But Batman can beat Blade?

Goyer: Batman can beat everybody. Batman can just beat anybody.

Biel: OK. (Laughter from others)

Biel: I think Blade has really great weapons though.

Goyer: Yeah, but Batman is Batman. When I was kid in a comic book store there was a guy who ran a comic store, his name was Norm and there was this one little guy who said, “If Wonder Woman and the Hulk got into a fight, who would win?” And Norm said, “I think the Hulk would win. I think he would crush Wonder Woman’s head.” (Laughter)

Goyer: The kid was like “OK, thank you.”

Jessica, can you talk about the bulking up for this part.

Goyer: By the way, she has toned it down from where she was in the movie.

Biel: That’s true, basically Ryan and I spent about 2 months before we started shooting it in the gym every day.

Ryan Reynolds: How you bulked up, Thighmaster.

Biel: Ryan used the Tighmaster. We spent 2-3 hours in the gym every day, crazy nutritional plans, martial artist fight training every day for an hour. I had archery training every day, and that was just every day. I slowly but surely just got bigger and leaner.

How much getting used to being that person did it take.

Goyer: You guys got a little addicted to it in a weird way.

Biel: Absolutely.

Reynolds: You have to if you’re going to commit to that you’re going to have to find some way to make it bearable and enjoyable. I don’t know how you can do that.

Goyer: A funny little anecdote one of the days when Ross Jest was shooting with the bow and arrow, you were off in the art show or whatever, and so we’ve got this camera aimed at her and we were shooting with the high speed camera, 300 fps, so it was very slow motion. She had learned to shoot this arrow very well. She was maybe 30-40 feet away, she was up in the air 3 stories and all the crew was behind safety lexan. The only thing that wasn’t uncovered was literally a 2″ by 2″ thing right in front of the lens of the camera. We said, “Aim for the camera.” Bam! Right down the lens into the housing of the camera. Destroyed like a $300, 000 camera. (Laughter)

Goyer: We actually got it on film. I’m actually going to put it on the DVD. It’s in slow motion, she shoots, she looks badass and there’s this pause and then she’s like…

Biel: It just cracked up. It hit the lens.

Goyer: It hit the lens. It embedded like 8 inches.

Biel: It just went “pshooooo”. In slow mo. the glass flew all the way back.

Reynolds: Poor guy looking down the pipe of that.

Goyer: I know.

Biel: And poor Alco. Alco was like, “My lens!”

Goyer: We actually ended up destroying like 5 cameras on that movie.

Reynolds: I wouldn’t worry about a piddly f***ing $300,000 lens when you had the most triumphant moment of your life.

Biel: I know.

Biel was asked about the archery training.

Biel: No the archery training was probably some of the hardest training that I did. It’s just muscles that you don’t even know you use in your back and you have to be really relaxed and focused. It was hard, it was really, really difficult.

Goyer: Jessica was a better shot. We used her stunt double in very few shots. Usually when there was flying glass and things like that. Jessica was a much better shot than her stunt double was.

Biel: I had much more practice with the bow than she ever did, and the actual poundage, I practiced with a much heavier bow, probably something like pulling 20-30 pounds back and then the arroow obviously goes much further and faster. We had such crazy pointy deadly tips on these arrows, that we had to drop the poundage down so that if I hit anything, I wouldn’t kill anyone.

Goyer: We did a test with some of arrows that she was firing. We did one test where it actually went through the wall of the set and we just said, we have to reduce the poundage because literally, she’s going to kill somebody.

What about Ryan’s training and weaponry?

Reynolds: I just had 30 guns on me at all times. That’s how I worked out every day was just putting my wardrobe on.

Goyer: You had the electronic pistols, that have little cameras on them with little mini-CD’s so they were first view of the movie. It watches what he just shot.

Reynolds: For most guys it’s porn, but for me it’s this. We also had a beefeater we called it. A huge Dirty Harry type of gun on my side. Remember, that old show, Sledgehammer. It felt like that. I slept with it. I talked to it. It was under my pillow. I also had this phone jacket. It was gigantic. It was actually built in the late 19th century. It’s a pump action shotgun that had 5 barrels. We ended up not using it.

Goyer: You’ll see it in one scene. If we ever do a Nightstalker film it will be in that because on the stock it has a mud-flap girl.

Reynolds: It’s really cheeky.

Biel: I remember the first time we were at the gun range, practicing, I had my cool 7 shooter and he had this GUN. To just get it over his back he had to throw it over. It would just shake the whole place. He couldn’t barely even get it off his back.

Goyer: It was almost comical.

Reynolds: It WAS comical because in this line of everyone seriously shooting their little pistols and picture this slow pan down of “What the f*** is that?” And we look down at this guy with this WWII cannon on his chest firing it. In the beginning of the movie I couldn’t lift it. I couldn’t swing it over my head. By the end, we had trained so much that I could.

Goyer: You were going to use it for Ryan’s entrance. I don’t think you had the muscular chops to swing it out.

Reynolds: We started training a month before shooting started and by 5 months in we were at our peak.

Biel: I don’t think that people can tell, but I can tell, I look at us in the beginning shots that we did and we look really lean, but as it goes on we’re getting ripped. We look so different.

Reynolds: I gained about 20 pounds.

Biel: I just dropped it.

Reynolds: The funniest thing was that Muscle & Fitness magazine was interviewing our trainer.

Biel: They said we’re really interested in Jessica, but we’re not sure about Ryan because of the ab implants.

Reynolds: They thought it was a prosthetic on my stomach.

Goyer: We’re going to show two scenes from the movie that haven’t been seen before and in one of then Ryan has his shirt off, and he’s like an 18-pack instead of a 6-pack.

Reynolds: 3-4 months after we finished shooting, I was in New Orleans shooting another movie, and my agent and I were having a bite to eat. He said, I can’t believe how ripped you are. I pulled up my shirt and my gut flopped over. He just looked like he wanted to cry.

Would you do it all again?

Reynolds: I had to do it all again because we did reshoots. Now I just keep it in the middle somewhere.

Goyer: When you went to your next movie, they said your shoulders and arms were too big.

Biel: The first fitting I did for Stealth was in Vancouver, they came to me from Australia, and when they took all the pictures with the clothes, they said, “No more shoulders, don’t do anymore shoulders.” My trainer named them. Esther and Frank. You have to get rid of Esther and Frank. I had to tone them down a little bit and make things a little more realistic looking.

Reynolds: When the stunt people were fighting with Jessica it was like an erotic experience. “Kick my a** please.”

Biel: And I did punch poor Jordan in the face.

Were there any other injuries on the set?

Goyer: They didn’t hurt themselves. Our first day of shooting, probably the easiest stunt of the entire film, a stunt double had to crash through a plate glass door. Her stunts compared to all the pyrotechnics and stuff we had were very minimal, and completely sliced open the artery in his hand and he runs toward the camera and you literally see blood spurting out of his hand. I’m like, “It’s cool!”

Reynolds: That’s our first day and I’m like, “we’re so screwed.” You liar. You’re like, “Cut, print it. Beautiful!”

Goyer: Later on we had these massive explosions and stunts and nobody got hurt. Thank God.

Ryan and Jessica, is he as creative as a director as he is a writer?

Reynolds: Oh, man yeah. David had this unnatural resolve for someone who’s directing a movie. This is the second movie he’s directed. It was amazing to see how he knew just what he wanted. That’s all you can ever ask of a director is a clear vision of exactly what he wanted out of each character, out of each set, out of each wardrobe change out of each emotional beat, and action. So it was great. I was pretty blown away.

Biel: I just thought we had a good time. Coming on set every day wasn’t like a stressful situation, he wasn’t all stressed out and freaking out. He was like, ” What’s up, how’s it going, ‘morning.” And we just goofed off all day. I sorta felt like he was my older brother. He would just screw around with me all day. He played a lot of practical jokes.

Goyer: One prank was…she did all this stuff on Texas Chainsaw Massacre. She’s going down all these dark corridors with a flashlight. Really scary. And I had her do two takes. And she’s opening doors looking for people, and on the third take she’s gotta open up a meat locker. And I hid in the meat locker. And ” Aaahhh!” I jumped out at her and we have it on film. “You a$$hole!” And I’m, “Keep on going! Keep on going!” That will be on the DVD, but the other prank we did on Jess was…there’s a scene near the end where Jess and Wesley are beating up all these Familiars and for all the later scenes we wanted the bodies to litter the floor. So at a certain point we had real people that were in costume littering the floor. But we also had dummies. And so you just got used to for weeks on end 10 or 12 dummies in the exact same spot. And so, we had one of the props guys get in one of the dummy suits and just lie there for like 15 minutes. And I’m talking to Jess. “Can you come over? I’ve got something really serious I need to talk to you about.” And I sit her down. “Well, there’s a problem with the dailies.” And she’s completely freaked out. “Am I in trouble?” And then at the opportune time I told the props guy there was some cue word and he just gets up and grabs her. And all the crew knew it was going to happen, too. That wasn’t filmed.

Will you talk about your reaction to Snipes?

Reynolds: Well, you know I was just saying I was quoting David with this. You know, with Wesley, David said this the other day, there’s a bit of Blade in Wesley and a bit of Wesley in Blade. And a smidge of Catwoman (laughter). But he’s kind of the character when he shows up on set. I just use it. I love it. I love the fact that you don’t get anything from him. I mean as a person actor to actor. As Blade the character you get all you ever need. I like that. My character’s the perfect foil for him. I’m like the sarcastic vampire hunter. We’re both vampire hunters, but we have two completely different styles. We’re so polarized. It just helps so much every time that I would say something absolutely f******g ridiculous he’d just be looking at me with that stone look like he was going to turn me into a** pudding. So it was great. And it fuels all these great moments. There’s even a moment in the movie where I look over to Jess (it’s not even in the script) and I’m like “He hates me doesn’t he?” And she’s like, “Yes, he does.” It’s in the movie. It creates the dynamic. The dynamic created itself.

How much improv was there?

Goyer: I would say there’s a lot for an action movie. I know it’s odd based on the movies I’m known for writing, but I love independent films and things like that and I have populated this movie with a lot of people that do improve to the extent that we could.

Biel: I think it was a lot. I mean, every day was, “Hey, try this” or Goyer and Ryan all the time were making up stuff and funny, funny things and telling me to do something.

Goyer: We would be shooting and we’d go into the editing room and look at an early rough cut of the scene and say, “It would have been so funny if we would have done that. Let’s go back and do it.” We did it a bunch of times.

How did you direct compared to the directors of the previous films?

Goyer: I veered away from my script more than the other Blade directors did which is the great irony of what we were doing.

Reynolds: It was so liberating. I loved it because the best stuff comes from having something great on the page already. I’ve always liked doing six versions of a joke, so give me six takes and I’d love to do it. David was great that way and he was a great collaborator.

Goyer: If at any point you wanted to try something different, we would try it.

Biel: If it just didn’t flow right, if it didn’t come out of your mouth right, you didn’t have to say one thing. [David would say], “OK, what do you want to say? Let’s change it.”

Reynolds: What can I say today to make Wesley punch me?

Jessica, what do you think about Wesley?

Biel: I sort of feel the same way. He’s really a great martial artist for me to watch. That was cool, I liked watching that a lot. We were working so hard, and he was pretty great with that. Personally, actor to actor he didn’t give a whole lot which was kind of perfect because he was a little bit of Wes a little bit of Blade. It just kind of melted into this one person and we didn’t have to work at this relationship. It was just kind of this weird relationship cause he thinks we’re amateurs, didn’t want to work with us. I just feel the same way that it just kind of worked itself out.

Goyer: I’ve worked with Wesley four times, twice as director. Different actors have different approaches and Wesley is definitely method. Some people are, some people aren’t. And when he’s on the movie, even off the set he’s that character. And I’ve worked with actors like that before. Some people work that way, some people don’t. And Wesley’s completely that way. And as long as we understand that, everything’s cool. It’s just the way he works the process. He could be completely different when the movie’s done. He was different on Zig Zag, which is the new movie I’ve done with him. But on the two Blade films, he was Blade on and off the set.

Reynolds: It’s weird seeing him grocery shopping in the outfit. (laughter)

You know Wesley outside of the film. How different is he when he’s not the Blade character?

Goyer: Very different. He’s very affable, you know what I mean? Very funny. But when he’s Blade, he’s Blade. And Wesley on Zig Zag…it’s funny, because I shot Zig Zag right before we started shooting Blade 2. And so when I arrived in Prague, Guillermo said, “What was he like to direct?” And I said, “Nothing I tell you will be helpful because he’s not going to be the same person.” And he wasn’t. I mean, it was like he was a totally different person. He was Blade then.

Ryan, did you ever get him to crack up?

Reynolds: With Wesley? No. Never. Hopefully I’ll see him today. Maybe there’s hope? No, but not really.

Goyer: One time on Blade: Trinity, he cracked the Blade facade for me. About three days before shooting, a bunch of the higher ups at New Line came up and had dinner. I don’t know if you guys were there or not. And they took a bunch of us and all the department heads out. And I was at one end of the table and Wesley was at other end of the table. At one point I caught his eye and he went. (Laughter)

Reynolds: You know what, though? At the beginning of Blade before we ever started shooting, we all went out for dinner and he was very sweet and very kind and very courteous and talkative and affable and all those things. Then he turns into Blade.

Biel: He did laugh once when Alco fell into that roll, that one night. He cracked up. I was so shocked.

Reynolds: It was so out of character. Our first assistant cameraman was pulling focus and walking backwards and he’s about 10′ in front of Wes and he’s falling. He just completely did like a Benny Hill fall. Wes just completely cracked up. Then just a minute later he’s like..

How do you balance Blade and the two new characters on screen?

Goyer: You have to be careful. It’s something you have to titrate as you go along. I can say that in the first Blade film Blade is on screen for 43 minutes. In the second film he’s on screen for about 40 minutes. In this film he’s on film for 39 minutes. So it ended up being about the same. One of the other things about balance is that Ryan and Jessica don’t really enter until the end of the first act. There’s a very specific incident that brings them on board at the end of the first act.

Reynolds: There’s no question that he is driving the ship. It’s very clear when you see the film that he is the moral center.

Goyer: It is still a Blade film. That’s what’s cool about it to people who have seen it. It’s definitely still a Blade film, but it’s got this new aspect to it that has caught a lot of people off guard who have seen it. Everyone seems to be responding well to it.

Did you expect the good response?

Reynolds: We kind of knew starting out. It was talked about. It didn’t seem real though until they starting showing the film to a few audiences.

How many films are you signed for?

Reynolds: I don’t know.

Goyer: I don’t know. How many are there?

Biel: I don’t know. I don’t remember.

Reynolds: 100. I don’t know. I know definitely a sequel. I know that much.

Biel: Yeah, definitely a sequel.

Reynolds: It is so rare, I can only speak for myself, that you find a role written for a guy my age that is Indiana Jones or the Die Hard kind of character. You just never find it for guys my age.

Would you want to do a sequel?

Reynolds: I don’t know how you do it. I’m in the hands of David to do another Nightstalker. You can’t just do it in a whole bunch of different movies I think. Once you commit to doing it you have to sort of stick with the character. I don’t want to do the universal film where I am doing the exact same character, just a slightly different story. I had the time of my life. Yes, I am actually jonesing to do another. I love a superhero that doesn’t take himself so seriously, and is a little bit vulnerable.

Goyer: We just had a great time. It was truly fun. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a movie set.

Reynolds: Me too, easily, bar none.

Biel: Me too.

And you get to use the weapons again.

Reynolds: Yeah, strap them on again. The glue’s a little itchy.

What was it like doing the fight scenes?

Biel: Fight scenes. My fight scenes I looked forward to. My fight scene where I kick all these guys a***s like 13 of them in a row. We shot it all in one take. We did the whole thing. We did it for like 13 hours. It took forever. It was the most fun that I have ever had. I couldn’t walk the next day, but it was fun.

Goyer: Having said that, we wanted one more take and one of our producers was saying, “You can’t go again. You’re killing her, you’re killing her.” I said, ” Jessica, are you good to go again. If you’re not we’ll stop, but if you’re good to go again, we need one more.” “Good to go.” My producer said, “You can’t do it. You can’t do it.” But she did great.

Reynolds: The most fun I had was watching Jessica kick 13 guys a***s, and fighting Triple H.

Goyer: That was fun.

Reynolds: That was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Goyer: What was really fun was Hunter had done a fair amount of comedy in the movie which is really funny.

Reynolds: Hunter is Triple H.

Goyer: He was a really good guy. We had started this fight and were working out the choreography, and Hunter said, “What if we do this?” He was being very shy. I said, “You know how to do this more than anyone.” So it was really cool watching Hunter teach Ryan how to take and receive moves and things like that.

Reynolds: He showed me how to body slam him. He is this 350 pound man and it’s actually just all centrifugal force. You just use the person’s body. It actually wasn’t in the movie. It was just something we were goofing around on outside. He came running at me, I think E! Entertainment was on the set filming it, and I just picked him up and slammed him on the ground, and walked away like it ain’t no thing. It’s just a talent that those guys have, to teach you how to do it. It’s really wild. In the movie, he body slams me and it’s one of the more disgusting things I have seen and shot in my life. It just looks like my vertebrae are turned into powder.

Source: Superhero Hype!