This piece ABSOLUTELY goes in the rumor category. Given it’s talking about something that won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest, about a character that has yet to appear in the comics and Marvel Studios propensity to develop more scripts than they use (cough…Runaways…cough), there’s no way anyone can guarantee this project will ever be greenlit. However, that does not make this bit of news any less interesting to me: according to Bleeding Cool, Marvel Studios may be developing a new Blade film, centered around Fallon Gray, the daughter of Blade from the recently delayed comic Blade: The Hunter.
Blade: The Hunter is one of Marvel’s All-New, All-Different titles and its #1 was scheduled to hit shelves in October. The book, with the creative team of Tim Seeley and Logan Faerber, was solicited for pre-order before suddenly being delayed for an indefinite period. According to Bleeding Cool, the reason for the delay is that the character of Fallon Grey and the idea behind the new book seemingly caught the eye of some prominent people in Marvel’s hierarchy who wish to develop the comic more carefully in order to prep the character for a potential film franchise.
Normally we don’t cover a lot of comic-related news here at MCU Exchange, however, this rumor really jumped out to me for a few reasons. First of all, Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool has hit pretty big on his latest Marvel Studios related scoops. If you’ll recall, he was the first one to start the buzz about Quicksilver biting the dust in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Falcon making an appearance in Ant-Man. He took a lot of heat from some pretty heavy-Twitter hitters over the Quicksilver bit and of course anybody could have guessed at it, but there was nobody in his right mind guessing that Falcon would show up in Ant-Man. He also told us to expect Hulk, Thor and Wasp in Captain America: Civil War. We’ve definitely heard plenty of rumors about Mark Ruffalo joining the cast and we know it to be a fact that Hope van Dyne was a part of the Civil War script at one point. Thor? Well that remains to be seen…but Rich certainly seems to know something.
Secondly, we know Marvel has been looking to crack a new project for Blade since they got the rights back, having even commissioned a script in 2013. While there’s been a lot of concern about how Marvel Studios would handle a character so rooted in death and violence like Blade now that they are owned by Disney, perhaps a 16-year old teenage vampire hunter might help soften the blow.
Finally, we know Wesley Snipes and Marvel Studios have been talking a lot lately about reinvigorating the Blade franchise lately, with Snipes saying while he’s recently met with the studio and the project is “up in the air”, he may have found a new role in the MCU. It’s possible that they are talking with Snipes about coming into the fold as an older Eric Brooks, mentoring his daughter the way Whistler did for him. In that scenario, we could all sit back and pretend everything we know about Blade already happened in the MCU without them every having to address it. With Doctor Strange about to open the door to demons,other realms and the supernatural, vampires may not be so strange a topic in the near future.
Of course all of this could be written off as nonsense or coincidence, but I don’t typically subscribe to coincidence. I’m in no position to guarantee we’ll ever see a Blade movie with old-man Blade teaching his daughter how to hunt vampires, but it’s certainly a thought worth entertaining. Marvel Studios will have to expand its cast of characters at some point. Phase 4 and beyond could see an influx of young, non-white characters that could help keep the MCU fresh and relevant as it becomes a better representation of the world, as the Marvel Comics have for a long time. Imagine a Phase 4 or Phase 5 with a Black, teenage vampire hunter, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenage fangirl and a Black-Latino teenage Spider-Man saving the world alongside some other Avengers.
I’m going to trail this one for a while. It’s an interesting idea that I’m really behind. It’ll be interesting to see what Marvel does with developing a new character for their films and I’ll be interested to see if Tim Seeley stays on board or if Marvel Studios involvement pushes someone like Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost or even Brian Michael Bendis aboard the book. Check back in 5 years or so…