Icons Unearthed: Marvel creator and director credits Blade II with helping the Marvel Cinematic Universe discover its signature blend of humor and action. Blade II was the 2002 followup to 1998’s Blade, and is largely regarded to be the superior film. Those who aren’t familiar with the franchise may be surprised to learn that Blade II was directed by none other than Guillermo Del Toro, who is said to have taken everything good about the first Blade and turned it up a notch for the sequel.
While Brian Volk-Weiss gave Blade plenty of credit for proving that the unique format of comic books could be successfully adapted to the screen (at least when it came to Marvel properties like The Fantastic Four), his belief is that the tone for which Marvel films are so well-known was actually established in the sequel. It’s certainly hard to imagine a Marvel film without characters quipping at each other; that’s part of their appeal. Here’s what Brian Volk-Weiss had to say when discussing films key to the MCU during an interview with Screen Rant:
It’s two movies, one of which is Marvel, one of which is not. It is absolutely, positively, Blade II, which I would argue is exponentially superior to Blade. The only difference is, obviously, and this is a real variable, you can’t have a two without a successful one.
I’m not throwing shade at the first movie, but Blade II is a work of genius. It holds up. It is exciting. It is fun. That’s the other thing Blade II did that Blade one didn’t do; Blade II is hysterical. There’s so much humor, and I also think humor is a massive reason why the MCU prevailed. They poke fun at themselves; they made fun of themselves. They acted like real people that just happened to have superpowers.
What Makes The Blade Franchise Endure?
Mahershala Ali’s MCU Blade film won’t come out until 2024, which will be two decades from when Blade was last seen in a movie (2004’s Blade: Trinity). Still, the character is well-known, and the original Wesley Snipes films still live in the zeitgeist. This makes sense; if the Blade movies – and especially Blade II – carry the DNA of the MCU, they would still feel familiar to new viewers in addition to those on whom they made an impact in the late 90s and early 2000s.
It’s unclear how much the character Blade will impact the MCU once introduced, but there is a risk that Mahershala Ali will edge out Wesley Snipes to some degree once the spotlight swings to his take on the character. Given Marvel’s penchant for crossovers and team-ups, Ali’s Blade is likely to be seen often and therefore may soon come to mind as often as Snipes’ iconic portrayal. Even then, the original Blade films will still endure thanks to the indelible mark they have made on shaping the look and feel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Next: Blade Can Introduce A Terrifying Phase 5 Villain (Thanks To Scarlet Witch)
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