Marvel Reclaims the Rights to Blade
07.25.11 by Ryan
At last year's Comic-Con, Marvel Studios announced that they had brought Frank Castle, a.k.a. the Punisher, "back under the roof" of the entertainment studio, and this year they have re-obtained the rights to Blade, the half-human, half-vampire character that originally appeared in Marvel Comics' The Tomb of Dracula #10 in July of 1973. The announcement came during a panel discussion with Marvel Studios' COO, and former Marvel Comics' Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, who revealed that "some kind of movement on bigger media projects" featuring Blade and the Punisher can be expected in the future, but not anytime soon. For now, Comic Book Resources reports, Quesada says Marvel Studios is concentrating on their "icon" characters and will later bring in more ethnically diverse characters.
"One of the things we have to deal with first are the icons. If we don't do those first, other characters regardless of race or ethnicity, will fail," said Quesada. Current Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso added: "I dream of the day that there will be a Luke Cage movie."
Alonso isn't alone, as actors have been lining themselves up in hopes of attracting Marvel's attention. First, Old Spice pitchman Isaiah Mustafa put together a trailer for a Luke Cage movie with himself in the role, which was followed by Eric Thomas Wilson's video pitch. Prior to that, actors Tyrese Gibson and Idris Elba had both expressed interest in the role. Whether Marvel's reacquiring of the Blade rights will inspire similar video pitches remains to be seen.
The character of Blade has already been turned into a successful trilogy of movies starring Wesley Snipes and a not-as-successful, short-lived, 2006 TV show starring Kirk Jones, otherwise known as the rapper Sticky Fingaz. With Snipes currently serving a three-year jail sentence for tax evasion, he can neither be a Daywalker or a Nightwalker. At least, not outdoors.
Prior to his sentencing, Snipes said he would be interested in a Blade 4 and hoped that it would include "a larger, multiracial cast" that would hopefully "have some rehearsals before some of the action sequences." Whether Marvel will continue the movie franchise with Snipes remains to be seen. The third Blade movie, Blade: Trinity, disappointed at the box office, a failure Snipes felt was unfairly attributed to him.