Another month, another Wesley Snipes interview in which he’s asked about a “Blade” reboot (this time doing press for his upcoming NBC series “The Player”). I’ve typically ignored these conversations because, well, until something concrete actually happens (like actual news from Marvel saying that they are interested in a “Blade” four-quel with Snipes starring), it’s all just chatter.
But I broke my rule today, and I’m sharing the latest from Snipes speaking with the HuffPost Live, in which he shared that he’s definitely interested in a “Blade 4,” but whether or not it happens is obviously not his decision to make.
“There’s always a possibility, you know. It’s in Marvel’s hands. They’re controlling the pace and the flow with that. Conversations have been good. They see the value in it. We see the value in it,” Snipes said. “I’m still in shape enough and fit enough to handle the role. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t really know what’s going to happen to it yet.”
And when he was asked about the possibility of Blade joining the Avengers in a film, Snipes said: “That would be interesting. I mean, I know it’s in the comic book. It would be interesting to see where they would place him and where he really would fit in. He’s got to bite somebody. I don’t know who he’s going to bite.”
But a 4th “Blade” would certainly be welcomed, especially after the disaster that was the 3rd movie, which left a bad taste in many mouths – including Snipes’ who, you might recall, revisited his many frustrations with that production in a 2014 profile of the actor in the UK’s Telegraph, published during the week “The Expendables 3” (which he co-starred in) was set to open. Snipes talked to the media about his involvement in that film, but also his legacy as an actor, especially leaning on what arguably helped launch the current superhero franchise craze – his starring role in the mostly successful “Blade” trilogy, based on the Marvel comic.
Snipes said at the time, that a 4th “Blade” movie was “very much a possibility,” adding that he’d love to work with Guillermo del Toro (director of the second film in the franchise, and the most successful) again, as well as Spike Lee (not necessarily on a 4th “Blade” film, but on future projects).
He also reflected on playing the character in 3 movies, and how the franchise helped inspire the current hits that Marvel Studios is enjoying, stating: “There were empires and institutions that were built off the Blade franchise… I mean, look at Marvel now, to this day. It’s a megalith!”
He then speculated on how different his career might have been today, had he understood the “Blade” franchise’s potential, as well as the renewed enthusiasm and popularity for comic book superhero movies today: “You know, if I would have understood the potential of… doing, or adapting comic book characters to feature films, and also the tie-in to gaming and digital technology, when I was doing the first Blade films, then I’d be in a different business right now. I’d be in a whole different ball game,” he said, adding, “I still would have done, the, er, you know… er, the dramatic work, and probably had a kind of cushion to do experimental work, because the economics in that kind of business are huge,” and further, “More and more people are recognizing the contribution that Blade made to this resurgence, or this model, this new business. At the time when Blade was offered to me, my management and my agents all thought I was out of my mind for doing it. They told me, ‘You know, you’re a classically trained actor. Why would you want to even play a vampire from a comic book?’ I was, ‘Everything you’re saying is right, but here’s the thing – I’ve never seen a movie like this.’”
And so it went…
The fact that Snipes would later sue New Line Cinema, writer/director David Goyer and Toby Emmerich, executive producer of “Blade: Trinity,” in a wide-ranging lawsuit seeking more than $5 million in damages, was certainly a nod to his disgust with the 3rd film in the franchise (“Blade: Trinity”), and his involvement in it.
There was a New York Daily News last year that said Snipes will indeed be returning for a 4th “Blade” movie, with their sources telling them that the actor’s comeback, after being released from prison in April 2013, was “looking good” and that he’ll make $3 million from the film, plus a cut of the back-end profits.
That report was never confirmed by anyone, certainly not Marvel nor Snipes himself.
In an interview with Deadline in July of this year, Snipes did say that he’d met with Marvel about potentially returning to the role, though nothing was/is in development: “The project is controlled by Marvel and we did have a really productive and a wonderful meeting and we discussed a number of things… I don’t know where it’s on their schedule at this point, that hasn’t been decided. I guess it’s still up in the air.”
Snipes also seemed to suggest that he’s certainly open to playing another Marvel character, if it’s not Blade: “I’ve always been a fan of these pieces and adaptations and I’d be nice to be a part of the family again… But if we don’t to a ‘Blade 4’ or something else with Marvel, we’ll do something else.”
Hopefully my next post on this topic will be an official announcement of some Marvel project with Snipes attached – Blade or otherwise.
“The Player” debuts this Thursday, September 24, at 10/9c on NBC.