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As Marvel's plans for Phase 4 officially remain under lock and key, rumors and speculation are running rampant about the brand's future plans for its current characters and plans for other characters who haven't been seen in a long time. The latest update on the latter alleges that Marvel has plans for a Blade return. This alleged film, which would be R-rated, is said to involve Wesley Snipes in some way.
Now there's a chance Marvel could have other plans for Wesley Snipes, but smart money says that if he's involved, it's probably so he can reprise his role as the title character. It's a bold choice given his inclusion would seemingly mean embracing the character's previous films and giving the world the fourth Blade film after over 15 years. Provided these discussions are currently underway, is bringing Wesley Snipes Blade to the MCU something that should happen?
To start, let's acknowledge that Wesley Snipes is in his mid 50s. Him being Blade now would look a lot different than when he first took on the role. Hell, it'd even look different than when he did Blade Trinity at 41. That's not to say he can't pull it off, but one would imagine if Marvel is seriously considering Snipes for Blade, it's because they aren't planning to have him back for long.
Because, let's face it, if Marvel was thinking about making a new Blade movie, it's a good bet it'd use a younger actor. Mahershala Ali already has a strong show of support from MCU fans, and is still in his early 40s. He's just one of the many popular actors that could take on the character, so it's not absolutely necessary that Wesley Snipes be tapped for this role.
Yet, there has been talk from Snipes and Kevin Feige both over the years, which does make it possible these talks are legitimate. Rumors are still just that, but the fact that Marvel Studios has supposedly shown some interest in bringing back Wesley Snipes to play Blade in the past does instill some confidence that there's a plan at play. If it's being discussed, surely there's an idea of how it would happen, right?
Which, in and of itself, is a strong supporting reason for why Snipes should return as Blade. Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios has had a strong track record to date in the MCU, so there's little reason to doubt they'd just up and drop the ball trying to do Blade with Wesley Snipes. After all, why search for another actor when you have the guy who played him in three films before ready and willing to make a comeback.
Well, there is one really big reason not to, and a lot of it is tied to Wesley Snipes on-set behavior during production on Blade: Trinity. There are multiple accounts of Snipes doing some wild stuff on set, one of which included requesting CGI being used to put him in scenes he didn't feel like doing.
Much wilder alleged stories can be found online, but it seemed clear to multiple people on set that Blade wasn't something Snipes wanted to be a part of anymore. People change, obviously, but it's a valid question whether there are those at Marvel who remember that whole incident and may have issues bringing the actor in and risking more behind-the-scenes drama on a high-budget feature.
One big strength in Snipes favor is that he's aged wonderfully, and it's not crazy to think an enhanced lifespan isn't a real-life super power he's capable of. Additionally, after seeing how Marvel de-aged Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, it's hard to believe what little work it would take to make Snipes look as close to how he looked the last time audiences saw the Dhampir in action.
Perhaps the question isn't why Marvel would want Wesley Snipes back as Blade, but more of a question as to what that would mean. Bringing Snipes back would presumably make Blade 1-3 canon in the MCU, which adds yet another franchise to marry to a very delicate ecosystem at the moment. Could the MCU weather bringing the first three Blade films into its shared universe without worrying about plot inconsistencies or other issues?
It also bears mention that while the character of Blade has been popular, the franchise thus far has not been a hit with critics. Blade II is seen as the high point, according to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes, and Blade: Trinity's aggregate score makes X-Men: Apocalypse's score seem solid in comparison. None of the films have been critical successes, but the lowest point of this franchise has been pretty damn bad in the eyes of critics.
Absence can tend to make the heart grow fonder though, although it would be a question of why the Marvel universe has had zero mentions of vampires to this point if Blade has been around this whole time. Granted, that is changing as Sony just went into principal photography on Morbius pretty recently, although it remains to be seen how or if the character will be incorporated into the MCU.
If there was a time to make vampires a part of the MCU, Phase 4 seems like a time to do it. The future of the Asgardians and who will headline adventures related to them is potentially on the bubble if Chris Hemsworth exits, and Marvel has already shown a want to expand its universe more with the introduction of the Skrulls. Vampires would be a viable outlet, and wouldn't take a lot of work to incorporate.
There is one story element that Marvel Studios could be looking into, and it's one that admittedly feels like one that avoids a lot of the potential problems in bringing back Wesley Snipes' Blade. Snipes could be the supporting character in a feature that ultimately paves the way to introduce Fallon Grey, Blade's daughter, as the MCU's resident vampire hunter. It's a convenient way to sweep Blade's past under the rug, and also add more inclusivity to the MCU.
Ultimately the decision is Marvel Studios', and it will ultimately decide whether or not Wesley Snipes and the Blade franchise is worth incorporating into the MCU. Right now people probably have a lot of questions as to why, but many will ultimately trust Kevin Feige and those responsible if bringing the vampire hunter back is the right move.
Right now, all this Blade talk is just a rumor, but CinemaBlend will keep an eye out for updates and any developments especially as Marvel gears up to announce its plans for Phase 4 after Spider-Man: Far From Home. For more on Blade, read up on what recent superhero film director actually pitched an idea for a film not all that long ago.