We haven’t heard much about Marvel’s new take on BLADE since Mahershala Ali was cast as the daywalker but the actor is revealing that the reboot was almost radically different before he came on board.
Ali was recently a guest on “The Tight Rope” podcast and during the conversation, he revealed that the project was originally eyed as a TV show instead of a movie. Ali also explained that his role on Netflix’s Luke Cage is what sparked his interest in taking on the title role:
“I did this Marvel show for Netflix called ‘Luke Cage,’ right? So, in doing that show, the day it premiered I had turned to my agent and I had said, ‘What are they doing with ‘Blade?” Because I kept hearing that they were trying to find a way to remake it and put it back together, and it was exciting for me to get to be in that Marvel space in TV, but for me, my goal had always been film. So, there was this long process of them speaking about, at least in the television division, really wanted to make it a TV show again, but not necessarily, trying to acquire the rights still, and some thing’s kinda going on, so it took a couple of years…”
The reason that Ali mentioned them doing a TV show “again”, in case you have forgotten, is that BLADE was turned into a very short-lived TV series back in 2006. The show aired on Spike and took place after the events of BLADE: TRINITY. Sticky Fingaz took on the title role on the television series and the show premiered as one of the most-watched original series in Spike TV history with 2.5 million viewers tuning in. Despite the early success, the numbers didn’t hold and the show only lasted one season due to its high budget and not being well-received by most critics.
I also think a lot had to be worked out before Marvel’s BLADE project went from being an idea for a television series to a feature film. Wesley Snipes, who portrayed the character across three films, revealed at one point that he had two possible projects in the works with Marvel. It’s possible that Snipes was considered for a new BLADE project but when Marvel Television was shut down last year and Marvel Studios took over the television projects on top of the film projects, it’s possible that Snipes was phased out and Ali was brought in.
I think Mahershala Ali is a great choice for the role and although nostalgia makes me want Snipes back, it was probably time for some new blood to step in. As for the current status of BLADE, Marvel Studios is currently looking for writers to take on the screenplay and no director is attached at this point. The only sure thing is Ali but at least that’s a great jumping-off point for the project.
Do YOU think BLADE should’ve been a TV series or was it right to reboot it as a feature film?