One of the major surprises at last summer’s San Diego Comic-Con was the announcement of a Blade reboot. And on top of that, two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is playing the titular character for Phase 5 of the MCU.
For those who don’t know, Ali’s True Detective co-star, Stephen Dorff, was the villain in the original Blade with Wesley Snipes in the starring role. Dorff played Deacon Frost (great bad guy name), a vampire second-in-command who betrays his boss to seek world domination for himself. He was a highlight of the film and in an interview for his show Deputy, he expressed interest in reprising the role for a new generation.
“I definitely would love to reinvent that character because that character’s someone who really stands [the test of time],” Dorff pointed out. “I still talk about [him] 20-something years later. I’m still signing Deacon Frost pictures out front today, so we’ll see where it goes.
The original Blade doesn’t get enough credit. Fans often cite X-Men as the movie that jump-started the superhero genre which is still thriving today, but the vampire action pic deserves just as much love. We were only a year removed from the stench that was Batman & Robin and comic book movies weren’t really taken that seriously. Blade came out in late summer of 1998 though and it was a huge success, spawning two sequels. It’s also a violent, R-rated superhero film that we don’t often get in today’s franchise world.
But circling back to Dorff, and he also revealed that a Frost spinoff movie was in the works at one point, explaining:
“We talked about doing a Deacon Frost movie on its own at one point, me and the director of the original Blade, who is just a genius, Stephen Norrington, and it never really happened because Marvel was a new entity and Kevin Feige was kind of building this whole new universe he’s built successfully,” Dorff confirmed to Entertainment Tonight. “They weren’t really interested in the dark Marvel movie but maybe after Joker and all this stuff, maybe it’ll start to be trendy.”
The actor’s certainly right here. Like Logan and Deadpool before it, Joker proved that audiences will turn out for darker and edgier stories within the genre.
As for Dorff reprising his role, well, it would certainly be interesting on a meta level, but playing the same part more than twenty years later and opposite your co-star from a recently hyped HBO show would be a little weird. Still, Dorff’s an actor whose career never really took off following Blade. Sure, he popped up in smaller roles in films directed by the likes of Oliver Stone and Michael Mann, but save for the lead in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, he’s been relegated to VOD and B-level horror movies.
His turn on True Detective was a reminder of how talented he can be given the right material though and he’s certainly more than capable of showing up in any of the upcoming MCU films in some capacity. Let’s just hope Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios feel the same way.