Marvel’s Blade Movie Lessons Should Take From The Original Trilogy
Since its announcement at Comic-Con in 2019, there hasn’t been much news about Marvel’s upcoming release Tongue restart. The only real news that has been revealed are the casting of Mahershala Ali as Blade, the attachment of director Bassam Tariq, and the recent announcement that Delroy Lindo will be joining the cast. Synopsis of the movie may have leaked soon online and it looks like it will stick to the original comic book material. Originally slated for a 2022 release, the film is yet to be produced and is looking for a release closer to 2023/2024.
The original film, released in 1998, starred Wesley Snipes as the official Blade, a half-human, half-machine vampire hunter known as ‘Daywalker’. Although Blade can travel the world during the day, he is prone to blood starvation just like a complete vampire. Blade uses serums to control his hunger but he still needs a stronger and stronger dose at more frequent intervals to satisfy his bloodlust. With superhuman strength and speed, Blade uses his gift to fight vampires and other monsters.
The first Tongue The film is a mixture of martial arts action and horror, with liters of blood and satisfying vampire slayings. Tongue was something new and refreshing at the time, a proper Marvel hero getting his movie, rated R and with a strong horror element. There isn’t much to compare it to in the Marvel universe yet. Deadpool delivered an R-rated action comedy (albeit an unofficial one in the MCU) and coming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Morbius both have the potential to bring more horror to Marvel. One thing fans can agree on is that the reboot must be rated R to do justice to the source material.
Watch the original movies now, especially the first series, they are very much the product of their era. The first movie to feature the iconic bloody disco scene, complete with 90s rave music. Something the reboot would do well to steer clear of is trying to recreate that scene. The reboot needs to stamp its personality into the property instead of trying to regain the original feel. Wesley Snipes is iconic as Blade, Mahershala Ali should fix his version of the character if Marvel wants the franchise to continue fresh.
Marvel has learned from the early films that a Black superhero acts on screen, then seemingly forgotten until recent years with Luke Cage and the great success of Black Panther. One of the most important things to Marvel from the original movies is the matter of representation. In the comics, Blade’s mentor was Jamal Afari, a role that was whitewashed and changed to the character of Abraham Whistler in the film. With Additions by Delroy Lindo, many are speculating that he will take on the role of Afari.
The original trilogy also incorporated humor to great effect, Blade being a dark comedian, in the style of wise Buffy as he annihilated gangs of vampires with his sword. The problem with the trilogy comes when they focus too much on the comedy element, with the third season adding the character of King Hannibal. Played by Ryan Reynolds, King was an interesting addition but he relied a bit too much on constant single-player games. He was almost a Deadpool backer, all good and good but not suitable for the world of Blade.
An interesting twist the new film could take is attaching it to other Marvel properties. In the comics, Blade sometimes works with the Defenders, all of which have been established through their Netflix series. This could present a great opportunity for the Defenders to return or at least maintain their presence in the MCU. There is also the possibility that Blade will confront Morbius independently Morbius feature released on January 22, 2022. The two anti-heroes have faced off against each other in the comics many times so it would make sense for them to clash on the big screen. In fact, with the Blade reboot originally scheduled for a 2022 release, that may have been the intention for a long time.
When it comes down to it, the original Tongue trilogy was a huge success. The combination of characters, story and gory action created a winning formula that made for an iconic role for Wesley Snipes. The movies completely penetrated popular culture, bringing Blade’s character into the spotlight next to the bigger names of Marvel. The only way to a successful reboot is to create an original character. Just updating the setup but clinging to the character’s repetitive past won’t work because he’s too in love. To make Tongue To succeed, Marvel must rely on fresh blood instead of burying its head in the past. They can keep the soundtracks of home music, though.
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