The boom of comic book movies today is often traced back to the success of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and the first X-Men movie in the early 2000s. However, the first Blade movie, starring Wesley Snipes as the vampire hunter, came out in 1998-- and that movie was such a hit it spawned a pair of sequels. While not always recognized as an early Marvel movie, Blade was actually made a more popular character thanks to the success of the films. They also made Snipes a bigger star, which makes it somewhat shocking to learn that people didn't want him to take the job.
Speaking with ET ahead of his role in Coming 2 America, Wesley Snipes explained that, while Blade is now popular enough that he'll be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Snipes' agents were less than sold on the idea back in the '90s and actually counseled the actor against taking the part. According to the actor,
The irony of the whole thing is that when I chose to do the film, the first Blade, most of the representation I had at the time suggested I shouldn't do it. [They] were absolutely against me taking on the role. And now look what it turned out to be. Who knew? But we ain't done yet.
It's easy to look back now and think that anybody who suggested Wesley Snipes not play Blade was nuts, but it maybe makes more sense when you look at the context. With the exception of the Batman franchise, comic books movies were largely absent from the box office in the late 1990s, and the ones that did come out didn't make much of a mark. A year before Blade was released, around the time it would have been going into production, Batman and Robin came out. That movie ended the franchise due to a lack of both critical and commercial success. Blade probably seemed as far from a sure bet as anything at the time.
And if the Blade movies hadn't been the success they were, we might not be getting ready to see Blade join the MCU Mahershala Ali is set to play the vampire hunter in a forthcoming MCU movie written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour. And while Snipes says he completely supports the new actor taking on the role, he also claims he's "not done yet," which certainly makes it sound like the actor expects to be working within the franchise again. Snipes was campaigning to join the MCU as Blade himself before Ali came into the picture. It makes one wonder if the new film will have a place for him.
He could certainly appear in the new Blade in a different role. Or perhaps the new Blade will work as a sort of sequel to the trilogy, making Snipes' version of the character canon to the MCU. At this point we know so little about the upcoming film that anything is possible.