Wesley Snipes made his last appearance as vampire hunter Blade in 2004's Blade: Trinity, but many fans still have hope that they haven't seen the last of the daywalker.
Even to this day, there’s talk of Snipes reprising the role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — which seems unlikely given the lighter, not-R-rated tone of the franchise and Snipes' age. If he were to play Blade in a brand-new continuity, it might seem a little strange that a freshman vampire hunter is in mid-fifties.
In this piece, however, we'll be looking at 10 ways Wesley Snipes' Blade could fit into the MCU — from both a narrative standpoint and in order to make sense of the fact that Snipes is now 56 years old. We're aware there are corporate interests and contracts to take into account that would make bringing Snipes back harder than simply coming up with an idea, but any of these solutions are almost too perfect to give up.
Blade Official Trailer #1 - (1998) HD
Retroactively include the Blade trilogy
The easiest way to integrate Wesley Snipes' Blade into the MCU would be to make it so he'd already been there for years — by retroactively including the three previous Blade movies in the franchise.
The character’s backstory would already be in place, as would the idea that vampires exist and that the world is largely oblivious to them, which would explain why they haven't been mentioned in the ten years' worth of movies that already exist in the MCU.
It would negate the need for an origin story and allow Blade's adventures to continue without the need to establish him all over again — and he could boast to the Avengers about saving humanity from villains like La Magra the blood god and Drake!
However, while Marvel does own the film rights to Blade once again, the original three films were made by New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. So, it might be tricky to pull off. Luckily, there are other options.
Set his movies in the past
If Blade were to suddenly appear in the modern-day MCU, people might wonder where he's been for all these years and why he hasn't met any MCU characters during his evil-fighting adventures. With that in mind, it could be a good idea to go down the Captain Marvel route and set his movies in the past — at least to begin with.
With the knowledge that Blade was going to be part of the MCU going forward, a movie set in the past could allow for a seamless transition and cement him as part of the franchise before he meets the likes of Doctor Strange and Spider-Man in the present day.
His movies being set in the past could see him crossing paths with the likes of the Ancient One and Dormammu which, from a narrative standpoint, would make his presence in the MCU seem more authentic and organic.
Have him re-emerge from exile
As we touched upon in the previous entry, should Wesley Snipes' Blade just suddenly appear in the modern-day MCU, it could be difficult to explain why he hasn’t been noticed by the existing characters in the franchise, given that he’s been active since at least the 1990s.
With that in mind, it could be revealed that he's been in exile for some reason – whether that be forced or voluntary exile. Maybe a powerful opponent had banished him to another dimension, or perhaps Blade himself feared he would give in to "the hunger" if he was around humans for much longer.
Maybe he could return due to the existing MCU heroes inadvertently discovering that he'd been banished somewhere, which results in them rescuing him. Or maybe Blade felt the increase in threats to the world meant he was needed to help in the fight against them. Either way, a dramatic re-emergence would be cool as hell to see.
Digitally de-age him
We mentioned in our introduction that Wesley Snipes is now 56 years of age. While he's still in great shape, and while Blade does age like a normal human, it still might be weird seeing him kicking butt in his fifties, especially if he's brought back for a new origin story.
Marvel Studios could, therefore, digitally de-age him to make him look more like a character capable of tearing through hordes of vampires like a hot knife through butter.
They've already done it with a variety of characters in the MCU to date, including Hank Pym, Mitchell Carson, Nick Fury, and Phil Coulson, so there's no reason to believe they couldn't do the same with Wesley Snipes — if indeed they felt it was necessary to do so.
Have him on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s files
For a while in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was one entity that sewed the whole franchise together: the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division, otherwise known as S.H.I.E.L.D.
Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, Maria Hill and countless other characters (including those in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and certain other Marvel TV shows) were all linked to the organization, which made the different elements of the franchise feel connected.
While that isn't the case as much these days — what with S.H.I.E.L.D. having fallen apart, then returned in more of a backseat role in the MCU — if Blade were to arrive in the franchise, a sure-fire way to make him feel like part of the furniture would be for S.H.I.E.L.D. to have his records on file (because you have to think that, if he'd been active for decades in the MCU, they'd be the one organization who'd definitely know about him).
Portray him as a mentor
For a while now, there's been talk about the possibility that, when 53-year-old Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark steps down from his role as Iron Man in the MCU, he may still pop up now and then as a sort of mentor to the younger generation of superheroes in the franchise, much like the way he's already been mentoring Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man.
Given that Wesley Snipes' Blade has been doing his thing for decades — and given that Wesley Snipes is 56 — it could be an idea to bring him in as a mentor to the younger heroes in the franchise in similar fashion.
Let's say, for example, that vampires start making their presence felt in the MCU and Doctor Strange recruits a team of younger vampire hunters to help him wipe them out — Blade could then be recruited to train and guide them in doing so (perhaps after S.H.I.E.L.D. bring him to the attention of someone like Doctor Strange).
The three Blade movies in 1998, 2002 and 2004 were very obviously aimed at an older audience than the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Blade, Blade II, and Blade: Trinity all featured extreme levels of swearing, violence, and gore — and they were all R-rated, accordingly — which is something that simply can't be said about MCU offerings.
With that in mind, should Wesley Snipes' Blade become part of the MCU, the franchise would have to allow R-rated movies — the character wouldn't really work any other way — and given that Disney's imminent acquisition of Fox means that the Deadpool franchise belongs to the House of Mouse, you've got to imagine they're at least open to the idea.
A supernatural MCU team
Should Wesley Snipes' Blade become a part of the MCU, it's hard to see how he would fit in with the current crop of heroes. The vampire hunter isn't an Avenger (although he did once briefly join the Mighty Avengers as 'Ronin' in the comics), so his movies would feel very lonely and separated from the rest of the franchise — unless they form a new team.
With the increasing number of supernatural threats in the MCU, a team created specifically to deal with them could be needed. And Blade could become a member of that team. It would make a refreshing change to have Blade as an official member of a superhero team in live action.
Doctor Strange keeps a watch list of threats to the world that includes supernatural beings, and if he thinks any are emerging that Blade could help with, he might recruit him. In the comics, both characters have been a member of the Midnight Sons — and having that team in the MCU would be awesome.
A TV apperance
Some people might think the time for Wesley Snipes starring in movies as Blade is over — after all, the last one was released 14 years ago.
If Marvel shares that view, there could be a solution, as the MCU has long since expanded to include comic books, digital series, short films, and, indeed, television series. If Snipes' Blade doesn't appear in an MCU movie, fans would surely be just as pleased to see him appearing in an MCU TV show — and there are several ways that could play out.
If vampires come to the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D., for example, Snipes could make a guest appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where he could interact with the likes of Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Daisy Johnson, Leo Fitz, and Jemma Simmons. He could also potentially appear in The Defenders, working on the streets of New York alongside Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.
Blade's real name is Eric Brooks, but he's also gone by another name in the comics. And, as we briefly touched upon earlier, that name is 'Ronin.'
Given that we've already had Wesley Snipes as Blade in three movies, if the character was to return in the MCU, a cool way to differentiate him from his previous appearances — and a cool way to freshen up the character in general — could be to have him operating under the Ronin name.
As the enigmatic Ronin, Blade briefly joined the Mighty Avengers in the comics, so it could be an interesting way of having him join the team in the MCU. Of course, Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, is expected to use the Ronin name in the MCU, but how amazing would it be to see a costumed figure using the name, only to have him reveal himself as Wesley Snipes' character, rather than Jeremy Renner's?! Very amazing, that’s how.