Have you heard the good news? Wesley Snipes told Vice he’s worked with Marvel to set up two Blade projects! But don’t get too excited just yet, because this is actually a drum that Snipes has been beating on for a long while now.
The latest comment from Snipes about the daywalker’s future hails from an interview with Vice released last week, where the actor discussed his legacy as Blade and the character’s future in live action, given that Marvel got the rights back in 2013:
There are a lot of conversations going around right now and we’re very blessed to have the enthusiasm and interest in something coming from that world again. We’ve created two projects that fit perfectly into this world and, when people see them, I think they’re only going to have a problem with deciding which one they love the most.
All the main execs [at Marvel] and my team, we’ve been discussing for the past two years. Everyone’s enthusiastic about it, everybody gets it. But they got a business to run and they gotta square the things that they gotta figure out before they can get to it, I guess. In the meantime, we got a business to run and our own slate of things to do so…
But the next time you see something in [the Blade universe], mark my words: what we did before is child’s play compared to what we can do now.
As Snipes notes, this talk isn’t actually new news, despite the hubbub it’s generating — the actor has spent the last few years offering tidbits and comments that he’s spoken to Marvel about returning to play Blade again. Snipes first made waves with the news back in 2015, when he told Deadline that he’d discussed a return to Blade, whether in the form of Blade 4 or otherwise:
The project is controlled by Marvel and we did have a really productive and a wonderful meeting and we discussed a number of things. I don’t know where it’s on their schedule at this point, that hasn’t been decided. I guess it’s still up in the air.
I’ve always been a fan of these pieces and adaptations and I’d be nice to be a part of the family again. But if we don’t do a ‘Blade 4’ or something else with Marvel, we’ll do something else.
Rumours began swirling almost immediately, in the form of a new Blade that would actually focus on the character’s daughter, Fallon Grey, who would take on his role as the vampire-hunting hero. The reports, first stemming out of Bleeding Cool, were actually born out of the basis that Marvel was, at the time, developing a new Blade ongoing comic called Blade: The Hunter with the same premise, by Tim Seeley and Logan Faerber.
Teaser art for Blade: The Hunter released in 2015. Image: Marvel Comics
The comic, originally set to launch in October of 2015 as part of Marvel’s “All-New, All-Different” shakeup of its comics roster in the wake of its Secret Wars event, was meant to start a new era for Blade as a character. But the book never materialised, and was eventually scrapped — Seeley actually quit the project altogether, telling Newsarama in 2016 that he departed as writer feeling that it was not his place as a white creator to tell a story about a new black hero.
After Blade: The Hunter entered comic book limbo, Marvel itself started playing down the possibility of Blade entering the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least in the immediate future. Here’s Kevin Feige speaking to the Playlist in late 2016, after the rumours were stoked once more:
They did ask a long time ago and I think our answer was, ‘No, we’ll do something with Blade at some point.’ That’s still the answer. We still think he’s a great character. He’s a really fun character. We think this movie going into a different side of the universe would have the potential to have him pop up, but between the movies, the Netflix shows, the ABC shows there are so many opportunities for the character to pop up as you’re now seeing with Ghost Rider on AGENTS of S.H.I.E.L.D. that rather than team up with another studio on that character let’s do something on our own. What that is? Where that will be? We’ll see. There is nothing imminent to my knowledge.
And that’s pretty much been the holding pattern since: Snipes would tell an outlet (or simply state on social media) that he’s still open to returning, and Marvel would deflect to the future.
The latest comment is just one in a long line, although with the added twist of denoting two projects instead of one nebulous future singular entry. A movie and a comic? A TV show? A project for the Disney streaming service? It seems we’ll have to wait until the next time someone asks Snipes about Blade to figure out what, specifically, either of these long-discussed projects might actually be.