Snipes, of course, arguably launched the entire comic book movie era we're living in now a full decade before there even was an MCU. Blade, in which he starred as the half-human/half-vampire Marvel anti-hero who hunts the undead, came out in 1998 -- 20 years ago last week -- and was enough of a success that it paved the way for X-Men to come to the screen in 2000 and thus open the floodgates for everything else since.
Blade has been off the screen since 2004's less-than-spectacular Blade: Trinity and a short-lived 2006 TV show came and went, but speculation has surfaced in recent years -- which Snipes himself has played into -- that the character could be resurrected either via a new movie or even a TV series.
In a new interview with Vice, Snipes was asked about the possibility of a Blade 4 happening, and here's how he responded:
"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..."
Before you get too excited, notice that Snipes never actually says the word "Blade" in his response. He says he's been talking with Marvel about two "projects," but doesn't say that either one is related to the Blade franchise or any of those characters. His answer is also vague enough that it sounds like Marvel has other things on its plate to deal with first.
He does add this, however:
"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."
Does that mean he is in fact talking about a new Blade project with Marvel? The studio did get the rights back to the character (the first three movies came out through New Line Cinema) so conceivably the vampire hunter could become part of the MCU. The other question is, would Marvel want to retain Snipes in the role or perhaps go with a younger, fresher face? Snipes has an answer for that too:
"There’s a lot of pieces that have to come together. I mean wow. Who’s that guy? And one that can overcome everybody’s preconceived idea of who Blade is supposed to be. Skill-wise, there’s not a lot of guys out there that dance, that do the martial arts, that act well and can have that Blade flavor. Not a lot of chocolate guys out there. If they’re gonna go chocolate. If they’re gonna go vanilla...ehhhh, I don’t know. Non-traditional casting: I'm with it. I’ve been a beneficiary of it. I don’t know if it would be good for marketing but you never know. So, yeah, it’s a tough one. And they gotta be in shape and have some sex appeal."
The first two Blade movies still have a loyal following (and are pretty darn good, by the way), and the character himself -- who first debuted in the comics way back in 1973 -- is still highly regarded by Marvel fans. So it seems logical that Blade could find his way into the MCU at some point.
Would you like to see him in the movies again, or perhaps in a TV series? Is there anyone else besides Snipes that you could envision in the role? Let us know in the comments!