Welcome to Script to Pieces, a recurring feature at Wicked Horror where we look at the best, most interesting and at times most unbelievable horror movies that never happened. Sometimes these will be productions that never came together at all, other times, they will be original incarnations that were completely different from what we wound up with. Each should be fascinating in its own way, because the stories of movies that never see the light of day can sometimes be even more interesting than the stories of those that do.
While both Blade and Blade II were surprising critical and financial hits, the third film in the series left a lot to be desired. It was plagued with production problems. There were rumors of Wesley Snipes getting into such heated arguments with writer/director David Goyer that he would refuse to leave his trailer for hours on end and even punched the director in the face.
Because of this, Blade wound up taking a backseat as a character in his own film while spotlight was turned on newcomers Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds as the Nightstalkers.
For those who may not be familiar, I am Legend is a 1954 novel by Richard Matheson depicting a world inhabited almost exclusively by vampires. There’s one man left to track them down, becoming something of an urban legend to them, becoming the thing they tell stories about.
The book was adapted first as The Last Man on Earth, then as The Omega Man and finally as I am Legend in 2007.
The idea was to obviously have Blade stand in for the central character of the book, Robert Neville. This would be a very dark world in which Blade had lost all of his human companions and was forced to wage a one-man war on a planet ruled by vampires.
There’s something very enticing about that idea, especially thinking about what it would have meant for Blade as a character. Unfortunately, the studio deemed it to expensive, so Goyer was forced to rewrite from scratch, putting together a shoddily updated take on the original Tomb of Dracula storyline and turning it into Blade Trinity.
After the box office failure of Trinity there was some talk of going back to Goyer’s post-apocalyptic script, but the animosity between the writer/director and Wesley Snipes made that an almost guaranteed impossibility. The studio didn’t seem keen on replacing Goyer as writer, as he’d written or at least co-written all of the previous films in the series. Of course, the studio wasn’t keen on replacing Wesley Snipes either, so they came to a bit of a stalemate.
Eventually, Goyer took his further ideas for Blade to television. He was given more creative control than he’d been given before, serving as showrunner on Blade: The Series. This also may have been an easy way for Goyer to create Blade content without Wesley Snipes, given that the feud between them never really seemed to go away.
The show, however, did not go over well with fans who still wanted to see Snipes in the role and was cancelled after one season. In the late 2000s a few more things happened to halt future Blade sequels: the rights reverted from New Line back to Marvel and Wesley Snipes went to prison.
After his release from prison, though, Snipes seemed more adamant to get Blade back off the ground than ever before. Apparently, he has taken a few meetings with Marvel in recent years, although it’s not clear if anything has yet to come of them or not.
With Marvel Studios going in a supernatural direction with Doctor Strange and introducing Ghost Rider on Agents of SHIELD, it seems like there’s no better time than the present to re-introduce Blade to audiences and bring vampires into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Interestingly enough, Kate Beckinsale let it slip just a short amount of time ago that there had been meetings between Sony and Marvel over the possibility of a crossover between Blade and Underworld. The franchises obviously match up fairly well and a merging of the two would actually make some sense. It’s a crossover I could actually see happening.
While the rumored meetings were confirmed as true and a crossover was indeed discussed, they happened years ago and a merging of the franchises does not seem to be on the horizon in the near future.