Wesley Snipes famously played Blade in a movie trilogy, and with a new Blade coming to the MCU, a question arises: why did Blade 4 never happen?
With Blade confirmed to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and making his proper debut in his solo movie in the near future, fans of the character can’t help to look back to the past movie trilogy and wonder why Blade 4 starring Wesley Snipes never happened. Years before the MCU was a thing, different directors brought a variety of Marvel characters to the big screen, but not all of them were successful. Among those characters was Blade, the vampire hunter dhampir who got his first movie in 1998 with Wesley Snipes in charge of bringing him to life.
Directed by Stephen Norrington, Blade explored the character’s origin story and followed his mission to kill vampires – namely the vicious Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) – alongside his mentor, Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), and hematologist Karen Jenson (N’Bushe Wright). Blade was a commercial success but not so much a critical one, but the audience welcomed it with open arms, and so the studio granted it a sequel. Now directed by Guillermo del Toro, Blade II was released in 2002 and saw Blade and company joining forces with a group of vampires to stop a group of mutant ones looking to commit global genocide.
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Blade II was also a box office hit but got mixed reviews from critics, but a third movie was greenlit anyway. Blade: Trinity, directed by David S. Goyer, was released in 2004 and was panned by critics, and that was the last time viewers saw Wesley Snipes as the vampire hunter. Blade is now getting a new chance in the MCU, but the question of why Blade 4 never happened remains – and here’s what happened.
Was Blade 4 Planned After Blade: Trinity?
Blade 4 doesn’t seem to have ever been in the studio’s plans, but there was interest in spinoff projects. In 2008, a prequel trilogy was said to be in development with Stephen Dorff reprising his role as Deacon Frost, and in 2016, Kate Beckinsale shared that a crossover sequel to Blade: Trinity with the Underworld saga was in development at some point. What did happen was the live-action TV series Blade: The Series, set after the events of Blade: Trinity and starring Kirk “Sticky” Jones as the title character.
Why Blade 4 Never Happened
Although a reason for the studio not being interested in making Blade 4 hasn’t been revealed, it might have been a combination of different factors. Following the release of Blade: Trinity, Wesley Snipes earned the reputation of a “difficult actor to work with”, and there are stories about his strange behavior on set, various conflicts with Goyer, and even an incident where he tried to strangle the director. Goyer told THR in 2021 that it was “a very tortured production”, and it ultimately showed in the final product. Blade: Trinity holds a 25% score on Rotten Tomatoes and is often included in lists of the worst comic book/superhero movies ever made, so it’s easy to see why the studio wasn’t interested in making Blade 4.
What Wesley Snipes Has Said About Blade 4
Wesley Snipes has spoken about being open to making Blade 4 if the opportunity arises multiple times. In 2010, he told MTV News he would be up for more Blade and that there were rumors about his return as the vampire hunter. After Marvel got the rights back, Snipes told IGN in 2015 that he had talked about playing Blade again with Marvel, and insisted on reprising his role as part of the MCU until Marvel announced someone else taking over the role.
Blade’s Movie Future Is Now In The MCU (Without Wesley Snipes)
In July 2019, during Marvel’s Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con, a Blade reboot was announced with Mahershala Ali playing the main role. In 2021, Bassam Tariq was hired as director and Ali made his first “appearance” in the MCU as Blade in a voice cameo in the post-credits scene of Eternals. Wesley Snipes isn’t involved in the MCU’s Blade (or, at least, not for now), but he has voiced his support for Ali and the character’s new adventures in this connected universe.
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About The Author
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Adrienne Tyler is a features writer for Screen Rant. She is an Audiovisual Communication graduate who wanted to be a filmmaker, but life had other plans (and it turned out great). Prior to Screen Rant, she wrote for Pop Wrapped, 4 Your Excitement (4YE), and D20Crit, where she was also a regular guest at Netfreaks podcast. She was also a contributor for FanSided’s BamSmackPow and 1428 Elm. Adrienne is very into films and she enjoys a bit of everything: from superhero films to heartbreaking dramas, to low-budget horror films. Every time she manages to commit to a TV show without getting bored, an angel gets its wings.
When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to learn a new language, watching hockey (go Avs!), or wondering what life would have been like had Pushing Daisies, Firefly, and Limitless not been cancelled. Breakfast food is life and coffee is what makes the world go round.
Guillermo del Toro said “hi” to her once. It was great.
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