According to Wesley Snipes, there are conversations at Marvel Studios right now about breathing new life into the Blade franchise. If Marvel really want to reinvent Blade for the modern MCU, their best route is to look to a comic book run that would have introduced Blade's daughter, Fallon Grey - a comic that ironically never saw print.
Marvel has always acknowledged the debt they owe to the Blade trilogy. The Batman franchise seemed to have killed off the entire superhero genre back in 1997, when Batman and Robin released to critical scorn and box office failure. Then came Blade, an unexpected triumph that persuaded studios to give comic book adaptations another chance. For Kevin Feige, the success of Blade taught him an important lesson; "It doesn't matter how well known the character is, it matters how cool the movie is." That was why he would go on to green-light films like Doctor Strange or Guardians of the Galaxy.
Wesley Snipes has revealed that insiders at Marvel Studios have been discussing ideas for Blade "for the past two years." Apparently, there are two specific projects in the works, and he feels they truly honor the legacy of his character. We don't yet know what those projects may be, but the most interesting take would surely be rooted in a comic that was never actually published in the first place; Tim Seeley and Logan Faerber's Blade the Hunter.
What Was Blade the Hunter?
In July 2015, Marvel Comics was preparing the ground for their next relaunch, the "All-New All-Different" Marvel Universe. They began to tease a range of books that would release over the course of the year, with one of the most exciting being Seeley and Faerber's Blade the Hunter. The publisher released a few teaser images and a solicit, which read:
"Fallon Grey is a sixteen year old girl from rural Oregon. Nominated for Prom Queen, Captain of the debate team, most popular girl in her class. But there is another side to Fallon. A feeling like there’s something more inside of her. When terror strikes her small town, she’ll find out just how right she was. As fearsome supernatural forces hunt Fallon, she’ll come face to face with something even more shocking than the monsters on her tail. Eric Brooks…Blade…her father?! And in each other, they’ll discover the purpose they’ve each been struggling to find."
Seeley insisted that any comparisons between Blade the Hunter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be incidental, telling CBR that he'd never even seen the series. His idea was to do something with Blade that had never been done before, using the relationship between Blade and his daughter to force the Vampire Hunter to re-examine his life. "He’s a half-vampire who can "walk in the day,"" Seeley noted, "but hasn’t spent much time actually enjoying the sunshine." Grey, for her part, would be envisioned as a sort of "anti-Peter-Parker," a popular girl who fell unwillingly into a life of superheroism.
Unfortunately, Blade the Hunter's announcement received a mixed reception. The main problem was that, yet again, Marvel had chosen a white comic book writer for a young black female character. Seeley accepted the point, realizing there was an opportunity here for a fresh and more diverse creative voice, and quit. The book was canceled outright - but rumors began to swirl that there was another reason for that. According to Bleeding Cool, the idea had captured imaginations at Marvel Studios, and they wanted to be the ones to create the definitive Fallon Grey.
It's not hard to see why this would be a perfect take for a new Blade film. This idea offers an excellent way to incorporate Wesley Snipes's Blade into the MCU; it acknowledges the character's legacy in the superhero genre, creating a "passing-of-the-torch" arc that has the potential to launch a whole new supernatural franchise. Even the fact that Snipes has aged becomes part of the plot; this is an older, more world-weary portrayal of the Vampire Hunter than seen in the Blade trilogy.
Given Snipes' claims of long-standing discussions with Marvel about Blade that began two years ago, those conversations began just months after there were rumors Marvel Studios was interested in Blade the Hunter. Here's hoping that indicates Marvel fans will finally get the chance to meet Fallon Grey - on the big screen rather than in the printed page.
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