Blade is the blueprint for the modern superhero movie, but like many Black trendsetters in American pop culture, it rarely gets the respect it deserves. Thankfully, fans online and the director of the Blade reboot are setting the record straight about Blade's pioneering influence on the superhero genre.
Twitter has been doing its part to remind comic book film fans about Blade setting the tone for the modern superhero franchise. One fan corrected another Twitter user who gave the credit to Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man franchise and Hugh Jackman's Wolverine/X-Men franchises.
"[I]t's because of Blade," wrote the Blade fan. "[I]t all comes back to Blade. [R]espect Wesley and his contribution."
it’s because of Blade. it all comes back to Blade. respect Wesley and his contribution. https://t.co/tQtRJnSLgu— tiana (@invaderti_) September 6, 2021
Another tweeted out a link to a Vocal Media article in which Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige says all modern superhero films owe a debt of gratitude to Blade.
"My tenure at Marvel started 17 years ago, and there were two things that sort of launched the modern era," Feige said to JoBlo, according to the Vocal Media article. "One was X-Men, which was the first thing that people said, 'Oh, there's life here.' But a few years before that, there was Blade."
"A character nobody had heard of at all, had only appeared in a few issues of Tomb of Dracula or something, turned into a big franchise," he continued. "That was always a great lesson for me, where you go, 'It doesn't matter how well known the character is, it matters how cool the movie is.' Which, many years later, would be the reason we do Guardians of the Galaxy [and] Doctor Strange."
Bassam Tariq, the director of the upcoming Blade reboot, is also praising the iconic original for setting the tone.
Complex quoted an IndieWire article in which Tariq talked about the foundation Blade set for future superhero films, saying, "…we can't deny what Wesley Snipes did, which was he basically got this whole ball rolling."
"A Black man created the superhero world that we're in, that's just the truth," he continued. "For me to now be working with somebody as talented and a juggernaut as Mahershala Ali, and the writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour, I'm just so…honored to be working with real Black juggernauts and Black talent. For me to just be with them in this room and listen and learn as I build this out, it's really an honor."
The Blade reboot is currently in pre-production with Ali taking on the iconic role. While the original film was R-rated, a standout among the litany of PG-13 superhero films that crowd today's market, it is still unclear what rating the reboot will receive, but most seem to believe it will get a slightly tamer PG-13 rating. Regardless of the rating, the film will be a full-circle moment for the Blade franchise, which paved the way for the cinematic universes that have captured fans' imaginations.