It’s not incorrect to say that today’s comic book movie slate owes a credit to 1998’s Blade, the alpha test prototype that proved that movies based on comic books that are faithful to their source material can be a license to print money. It’s kind of sad then that the Daywalker has kind of receded from the public eye with no new movies or appearances currently announced at any level in the vast Marvel Studios film and TV empire. Unfortunately for Blade fans, this is no mere oversight, as the head of Marvel says that there’s currently no immediate plans for more from the kickboxing vampire. (Community reference.)
Hopes were raised over the weekend when Kate Beckinsale told New York Comic Con that a planned Underworld/Blade crossover came to not because Marvel has plans for the Daywalker. While talking to Playlist though, Kevin Feige says that while the crossover conversation happened, that doesn’t mean that Marvel’s plans for the character are in the near future.
“They did ask a long time ago and I think our answer was, ‘No, we’ll do something with ‘Blade’ at some point.’ That’s still the answer. We still think he’s a great character. He’s a really fun character. We think this movie going into a different side of the universe would have the potential to have him pop up, but between the movies, the Netflix shows, the ABC shows there are so many opportunities for the character to pop up as you’re now seeing with Ghost Rider on ‘AGENTS of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ that rather than team up with another studio on that character let’s do something on our own. What that is? Where that will be? We’ll see. There is nothing imminent to my knowledge.”
So it seems clear that movies are off the table because that’s Feige’s world, but the door’s open a crack for TV. Who knows, if Ghost Rider makes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. appointment television, maybe the show will start bringing in the other Midnight Sons, heck, they’ve already mention the Darkhold a couple of weeks ago.
The more likely explanation is that Marvel is waiting for the right opportunity to make Blade present itself. Unlike Ghost Rider, where nobody was really anxious to see another Ghost Rider movie after Spirit of Vengeance, there’s still tremendous interest in bringing Blade back in some way, shape, or form. Marvel may also feel that there’s a debt to be paid to Blade after the franchise blew up with the one-two misstep of Blade Trinity and the Spike TV series Blade: House of Chthon, so they’re holding back until just the right type of project comes along. There may also be a bit of competition for the character. On the one hand, Netflix’s dark tone for the Marvel series would fit Blade so well, but that big screen glare is really hard to deny…
We will, of course, follow along with all the Blade developments as they become available.