The internet was sent into a frenzy at last summer’s San Diego Comic-Con with the surprise reveal that two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali was set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a reboot of Blade. Disney and Marvel have been preoccupied with delivering the highest-grossing movie in history and launching their own streaming service in recent months, so there hasn’t been much news on the project since Comic-Con, which isn’t surprising either when you consider that Blade isn’t expected until at least Phase Five of the MCU.
Ali has been dropping some hints on social media though about his possible look for the movie, while rumors continue to swirl online about potential directors, plot lines and cast members for the pic. Original star Wesley Snipes, who’s also said to be under consideration for a cameo in the reboot, has already given Ali his blessing to inherit the role of the Daywalker and now, Stephen Dorff, who played villain Deacon Frost in the 1998 original, has also voiced his thoughts on the MCU bringing Blade back to the big screen, admitting that he’s even spoken to Mahershala Ali about it.
“I saw him after it was announced at Comic-Con, and I’m happy for him. I think he’ll do a great job with Blade and reinventing the franchise. It probably should’ve been done a while ago, but I think it’s good for him. I’m sure he’ll do it justice. To have such a great actor in the part of Blade for this new generation, it’ll be great.”
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Despite the potential narrative headaches that could come with trying to introduce vampires into a shared universe that’s been established for well over a decade, Blade remains one of the most anticipated movies on the MCU’s upcoming slate. Given the violent nature and horror elements of the original trilogy, there’s speculation that Blade and Deadpool 3 could finally usher in the era of R-rated MCU entries, too.
As well as admitting that he was once in talks for a Deacon Frost spinoff, Dorff also cited the success of Joker as a reason for Marvel Studios to explore the avenue of making more adult-orientated comic book movies, with Blade seemingly the ideal candidate.
“We talked about doing a Deacon Frost movie on its own one point, me and the director of the original Blade… 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. 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.”
It seems incredibly unlikely that Marvel Studios are going to make R-rated movies a priority, when the MCU became the most lucrative franchise in the industry by remaining in the PG-13 realm. However, when it comes to already-established or recognizable brands like Deadpool or Blade, even Disney CEO Bob Iger has claimed that exceptions could be made, so who knows what the future may hold?