How much of an influence will the original Blade movies have on the upcoming reboot? The director of the new project gives us some details.
Bassam Tariq is at the helm directing the new Blade reboot. Tariq acknowledged the importance of the original Wesley Snipes’ Blade films when he was asked about the upcoming reboot. Marvel first announced the Blade reboot during the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. Mahershala Ali will star as the titular protagonist and our resident vampire hunter in the forthcoming movie.
As per the new direction Marvel is embarking on which they kicked off with Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, audiences will be treated to more supernatural elements in phase 4 of the MCU. The existence of vampires was actually teased in an episode of the recent Loki series. Gradually more and more details are starting to emerge about the upcoming Blade project.
Bassam Tariq recently spoke to Indiewire about his latest project Mogul Mowgli, and spoke a little bit about Blade too. Tariq explained that he has a lot of freedom with the character of Blade as there hasn’t been any lore relating to the character that Marvel has established yet. This means Tariq doesn’t need to focus on plot elements from previous Marvel projects for continuity purposes – he is pretty much free to establish his own background story for the character within the confines of the comic-book source material of course. Tariq also touched on the influence and importance of the Wesley Snipes' iteration of the character. The full quote is below:
“What’s exciting about the film that we’re making is [there] hasn’t been a canon for ‘Blade,’ as we’re reading through the comics and everything. Him being a daywalker is the one thing that’s been established, and you know we can’t deny what Wesley Snipes did, which was he basically got this whole ball rolling. A Black man created the superhero world that we’re in, that’s just the truth. For me to now be working with somebody as talented and a juggernaut as Mahershala Ali, and the writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour, I’m just so — I’m so honored to be working with real Black juggernauts and Black talent. For me to just be with them in this room and listen and learn as I build this out, it’s really an honor.”
The original Blade movie was released in 1998. Wesley Snipes starred as the titular hero back then and Stephen Dorff played the main antagonist Deacon Frost. Tariq isn’t wrong when he points to Blade paving the way for all future Marvel movies – it was a movie that was received very well both critically and commercially at the box office upon its release. This was a revelation at the time after a string of disappointing comic book movies including the Batman films, and the later Superman films which a lot of people would argue were very underwhelming. Eventually other Marvel movies like the X-Men franchise followed, as well as the ever so popular Spider-Man movies. It’s arguable that none of those movies could exist without Blade knocking the door wide open first.
What we can take from Tariq’s comments regarding the freedom he has to mould the story of Blade is that his take on the character will very likely be a unique one, and maybe even far off from what we’re used to with Wesley Snipes’ portrayal of the character. However, due to Tariq reiterating the importance of Snipes’ Blade movies, it is plausible that he may want to pay homage to that body of work and maintain some similarities between the modern and classic iteration of the daywalker.
Blade is due to start filming in early 2022, so we will no doubt have more information for you about the movie as the days, weeks and months unfold.
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