There was a time when comic book movies were not all the rage in Hollywood. Martin Scorsese would call it a simpler time where he could make a film like Kundun. But less than a year after Kundun arrived in theatres, Blade (Wesley Snipes) showed studios in Hollywood that comic book adaptations can be profitable.
While there is so much credit given to X-Men as the one ushering a new genre into the film world. That assessment would be false, it was Blade that gave comic book movies a fighting chance and possibly was influential in getting X-Men greenlit.
The black vampire-hunting superhero movie has to be given its due credit for starting the whole superhero craze of the 21st century. Blade was both a commercial and fandom success and spawned two sequels. Together those three movies may not hold up visually but they are still a history of comic book movies as we know them today.
So, when Marvel announced that they are bringing back Blade into the MCU, one question was ringing in our head. Would it still be Blade without Wesley Snipes playing the role? That signature look, hissing voice, and fighting style are tightly knit with Wesley and it is hard to imagine a Blade film without the Daywalker himself.
Blade is Wesley Snipes - Wesley Snipes is Blade
Mahershala Ali was hired to play Blade in Marvel's revamp of the beloved character.
Image Source: Instagram
Over the years Wesley Snipes has had legal issues. His movie career went down in the drain but one thing has always remained constant, fans have not stopped loving Snipes for his portrayal of Blade. For most fans, Blade is Wesley Snipe and Wesley Snipes is Blade, there is no substitute, alternate, or replacement.
For years fans have been clamoring for a fourth Blade movie starring Snipes. The actor himself propositioned the then rights holders to give the franchise another chance. The third movie was a critical bomb and commercially did fine at the box office so the chances of a fourth movie were slim.
Once the rights for the character reverted back to Disney, there was genuine hope among fans something was going to be made. Years went by, there was total silence from Marvel and Disney. Until 2019 when Kevin Feige and the entire new crop of Marvel characters appeared on stage and Kevin Feige took a timeout to introduce Mahershala Ali as the new Blade.
Mahershala Ali will be taking over the role of Blade with exciting prospective writers and directors joining him to revamp the beloved character. While his casting was not hated, there was also a group of purist fans who wanted Snipes to come back as the Daywalker.
While the end result was not what Snipe wanted, he was still receptive to the idea of Ali taking on the role. He even congratulated the Oscar-winning actor. Considering Mahershala Ali himself went to Kevin Feige and pitched him an idea for a Blade movie shows he loves the character.
There is no way we can hate on Mahershala but still, can Blade be the same thing without Wesley Snipes. In our opinion, no. While MCU fans may laugh at this statement, but recasting Blade is like getting someone else to play Tony Stark in a remake or a sequel.
Watch: Wesley Snipes' Blade going up against vampires
For us, it is the same thing, anyone can be the Daywalker, but no one can be Blade other than Snipes. Mahershala will undoubtedly do a great job with the character but unless Wesley Snipes is involved in some capacity with the movie, it would not be Blade.
Snipes even opened the door for Marvel by saying, "You never know. Under the right circumstances, I'm open to play with everybody." Blade was made a globally recognizable franchise by Wesley Snipes and it would be a massive disservice to the fans if he was not associated with the film.
"I know that people associate me with that role. The Daywalker community out there is a part of the Daywalker clique and our global community identifies with a little bit of that world and the new definition of Daywalkers, these global hyphenated multitalented individuals capable [of] doing more things at one time – skill masters, as we call them. So, we gon' keep going, we gon' keep bringing," he continued.
There is still the concern of violence in Blade. MCU movies are PG-13 and the blood and gore in Blade are as R-rated as they come. We are excited about a new black superhero but if it does not feature Wesley Snipes in some capacity and R-rated action, then please don't call it Blade.
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