Australian filmmaker George Miller turns 72 today. Miller began his film career while attending medical school at the University of New South Wales, and made a few short films during the 1970s while also working on some other film crews. In 1979 his first feature was released, an action thriller set in a near-future collapsing society, titled Mad Max. Made on a very modest budget, it made over $100 million worldwide. That enabled Miller to make a sequel that is considered one of the best action films ever—initially titled Mad Max 2, it is now generally known as The Road Warrior.
The original Blade came along at a time when comic book movies were deemed “too risky”. The year before, a hat trick of comic-based failure consisting of Batman and Robin, Steel and Spawn all struck out at the box office. Marvel movies weren’t cool yet, so the first Blade was sold as a low-budget vampire movie rather than the adaptation of a comic book. Blade was a decent enough hit to generate two sequels and a TV series. Writer-director David Goyer clearly had plans to carry on the Blade franchise. In fact he seemed to be using the third Blade movie to set up a series of spin-offs. But instead, Blade: Trinity killed the series and ended up with everyone embroiled in a bitter lawsuit.