Superhero cinema knows no boundaries. Just as we’ve seen Netflix revamp Daredevil and Marvel Studios take over Spider-Man, there’s recently been talk of a reboot of the Blade series. This series crashed and burned with the underwhelming Blade: Trinity in 2004, but there have always been those who wished to see more out of Wesley Snipes’ dark vampire/superhero character. And for his part, Snipes has displayed a great deal of interest. As recently as May of this year, word got out that Snipes said the ball was in Marvel’s court, indicating he’d be on board for a reboot if the studio was.
But could this actually happen? Let’s look at some of the factors.
Do Fans Want Snipes Back?
You’d think this would really pump up the dedicated Blade followers that still exist in pretty large numbers, but it actually appears that opinions are mixed. It does seem like a lot of people are ready for a Blade comeback, perhaps as an addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or maybe just as a side project representing the darker side of superhero flicks. But fans are apparently divided as to whether or not Snipes should be the one to do it. Specifically, the sentiment is that Snipes might be too old. The actor is 53 now, and a Blade reboot hasn’t even been green-lit, meaning he’d probably be at least 55 by the time this was underway.
That’s a fair point. It’s a little bit like the unfortunate circumstances of the Idris Elba-for-Bond campaign. Elba is 43 now, and would probably be anywhere between 45 and 47 by the time he was playing Bond. Is it really worth setting up a franchise with a guy who’s only young enough to do a couple movies before handing the reins over to someone new?
Do Fans Want Blade Back?
As mentioned, there seems to be some enthusiasm for the idea of a reboot for this series, and if you pay attention to various corners of entertainment culture, there are plenty of hints that Blade fandom is alive and well. Most interestingly, online gaming platforms still host a Blade slot game among other, similar superhero-themed titles. Using a drawn image of Snipes in the role of the titular character, it’s a casino game built entirely on the foundation of the film, just as others are based on more contemporary superhero hits. The primary goal here is to attract players, and using Blade to do it after all these years definitely shows some lingering enthusiasm for the character.
Additionally, Netflix just revealed the list of films and shows coming in July, and Blade 2 made the cut. So did plenty of other films across a whole range of different genres, but Netflix isn’t exactly in the business of promoting movies without followings. This too indicates that people still dig Blade. A reboot would likely be welcomed by a pretty big community.
Who Else Could Do It?
While Snipes has been vocal about wanting to do this project, it could very well be that the studio takes more of a Daredevil or Spider-Man route and starts from scratch. Actually, there are rumors of a Netflix series that would involve Blade, Ghost Rider, and Moon Knight. Given that this would be entirely different from a cinematic Blade reboot, the idea of a different actor seems pretty likely. It’s not as if anyone’s bringing Nic Cage back to play Ghost Rider, and Moon Knight would be totally new.
But here’s the good news: Marvel has finally made a legitimate effort to support black actors, and a Blade reboot or Netflix series makes for a nice opportunity for a younger actor to get a shot at a huge role. Just a few ideas: Stephan James (who was amazing in Selma); John David Washington (Denzel’s son, who’s killing it on Ballers); and Michael B. Jordan (who has to want another shot at the superhero thing after the Fantastic Four flop).
There’s no telling if any of this will happen just yet, but it does seem like the idea of some kind of Blade reboot is gaining steam—perhaps with or without Wesley Snipes.