Amongst the deluge of new information and footage provided at San Diego Comic-Con recently, there was something special for fans of the darker, more horror-centric side to Marvel comics stories – the release date for Blade.
The film and its star, Mahershala Ali, were first announced in 2019 at the last Comic-Con Marvel attended, and now fans know it will hit theaters on November 3rd, 2023. Filming is set to begin in October according to Kevin Feige, with Bassam Tariq directing. Beyond that, not much else is known, including who Blade will be crossing fangs or swords with.Which villains might stand the best chance?
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The first instinct in developing Blade is likely going to be to find ways to distance and differentiate the film from the seminal 1998 Blade starring Wesley Snipes.With that in mind, Deacon Frost might not take on the main antagonist’s role, but he is so important to Blade’s origins that it would be surprising not to see him in Blade.
Deacon Frost is singlehandedly responsible for creating Blade. He was a doctor who bit a pregnant Vanessa Brooks, passing the vampiric enzyme through her bloodstream to her unborn child, who would come to be named Eric Brooks, and later Blade. Thus, baby Eric became a dhampir – half-man, half-vampire. Deacon has the unique power to create doppelgängers of his victims that would follow his orders, which could amp up the stakes and paranoia needed to make Blade shine.
Of course, there is no vampireas legendary as Dracula, even in the Marvel Comics universe. He was already born a prince, but upon becoming a vampire his true power and influence were unlocked. He soon became the supreme ruler of all vampires, and a cruel, sadistic man with nothing but a thirst for power and blood. Naturally, this brought him in conflict with sorcerers, vampire hunters, and now superheroes like Blade.
Since vampires are a crucial part of the horror and supernatural sector in Marvel comics, Dracula’s involvement in the MCU seems practically guaranteed. He’d make for the perfect antagonist for Blade, as it could also incorporate the intricate politics and history of vampirism. If not Blade,then the untitled Halloween Special could be just as good a place to introduce Dracula.
One other vampire already has a connection to the MCU. John FalsworthAKA Baron Blood was a British aristocrat bitter for not inheriting the money and power his father held, since he was the younger of two sons. His older brother was James Montgomery Falsworth, the first Union Jack – played by JJ Felid in Captain America: The First Avenger. While his brother became a hero, John turned to evil and came under the sway of Dracula, who turned him into a vampire.
He eventually aligned himself with Hydra and went on to fight against Sam Wilson’s Captain America. His connection to a forgotten but preexisting character and history as a villain could make Baron Blood a surprisingly interesting choice for Blade. Alternatively, since it’s the movie that follows Blade, if Captain America: New World Order were to incorporate vampires, Baron Blood could feature in that instead.
Whether Blade does introduce Dracula or not, his presence will still probably be at least acknowledged. If they would want to involve the villain, but not officially, they could instead go with one of his children. The best bet for that would be Dracula’s son, Xarus. He’s just as ruthless and ambitious as his father, but more reckless and less wise, which can make him incredibly dangerous. He’s been successful in overthrowing his father to become the leader of the Vampire Nation, uniting the different sects and clans.
Xarus’ inclusion in Blade could serve as a precursor for Dracula, who is inherently more powerful and experienced. He could also take up his moniker of Shadow Colonel and even help introduce Boy-Thing – an offshoot of the complex supernatural character, Man-Thing. Dracula’s other child, Lilith Drake, would probably align herself with Blade if either Xarus or Dracula appears, since she is hellbent on killing her father.
Legion of the Unliving
With Xarus could come the strange collection of vampires he leads, the Legion of the Unliving. This is actually the fourth iteration of the team – following the ones created by Kang, Grandmaster, and Grim Reaper. They were the collective brought together to overthrow Dracula.
While the coup was ultimately successful and they then turned their eyes on the human world to grow their empire, The Avengers opposed them, with Blade and Ghost Rider among the ranks. They were defeated eventually, with Blade practically killing Xarus, but their work had taken its toll on the world and many humans were turned into vampires.
Another very likely choice of a villainous character for Blade is his own father, Lucas Cross. Back when Vanessa was pregnant with Eric, Lucas was sentenced to jail for a crime he never committed, imprisoned in Latveria – providing an interesting connection to Doctor Doom. He was dying from cancer but was given the gift of immortality by being turned into a vampire, just like his son.
Eventually, father and son reunited, but it was not a happy occasion. Lucas literally kidnapped him and chained him up, wishing to fulfill a prophecy that would restore all vampires’ souls. In part, it required Blade to feast on a young girl, which the hero refused to do. Lucas Cross is not a true villain, in the terms of Dracula or Baron Blood, but his actions definitely make him an antagonist.
There are plenty of interesting and powerful vampires who could have a role in Blade, but noneas ancient as Varnae. In fact, he was once an Atlantean sorcerer before the city sunk beneath the depths. He was mortally wounded and in a dark act, using the Darkhold as their recipe guide, his fellow sorcerers transformed Varnae into the first vampire. This then links Varnae to existing characters like Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, and even Namor.
Over the subsequent millenniums, he was the most powerful vampire, becoming a demon and deity in folklore. Blade could be a great place to introduce such an archaic character, and his story could then be more subsequently explored in future supernatural movies orTV shows.
Department of Occult Armaments
There is more to Blade’s stories and adventures than just vampires. The supernatural world in Marvel Comics is vast, complicated, and weird. One aspect involves Hydra, who created the Department of Occult Armaments as a way to create a vampiric army for their global undertakings. They were later involved with symbiotes like Venom, hoping to utilize their vast capabilities.
The DOA is a strange deep-cut, frankly. They are relatively minor and obscure but could be utilized as a part of something bigger. The DOA could be established as part of Hydra again – if they come back – or adapted to another villainous organization such as AIM, or in the MCU, Damage Control. They could operate as a supernatural task force opposing Blade and his allies.
It was recently announced that Fantastic Four will not be an origin story, so perhaps Blade will follow suit and he will be established as a character who had been operating for a long while as a vampire hunter, but he was just never brought into the mainline action. If that’s the case, he could have amassed quite a reputation among the vampires, which could lead to the arrival of Draconis.
Draconis is a vampiric priest, specifically raised to be the death of Blade. In fact, on their first encounter, he was successful – though it didn’t last long. Together with his fellow vampiric vampire hunter, Hannibal King, Blade was able to best and destroy Draconis.
Starting with WandaVision and most recently through to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Mephisto has been named as a big bad, but he’s yet to arrive. He is a common adversary to numerousheroes, however, he could make for an interesting villain for Blade.
As an extra-dimensional and ancient demon, Mephisto is incredibly powerful, manipulative, and clever. This could make for an unexpected twist for Blade to contend with. Given Blade’s role as an action-forward character, they’re still going to want to go with someone who can put up a good fight, and Mephisto surely could.
Marvel's Mother of All Demons, Lilith, will reportedly be the main antagonist of the upcoming Blade movie. According to insider Daniel Richtman (via The Direct), Mia Goth -- who joined the cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in April 2023 -- will play Lilith.Who will be the main villain in Blade? ›
Marvel's Mother of All Demons, Lilith, will reportedly be the main antagonist of the upcoming Blade movie. According to insider Daniel Richtman (via The Direct), Mia Goth -- who joined the cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in April 2023 -- will play Lilith.Who is Blade's most powerful enemy? ›
Film. Deacon Frost appeared as the main antagonist of the 1998 film Blade, portrayed by Stephen Dorff. Instead of being an aged vampire, this version of the character held the appearance of a younger man.Who are blades biggest enemies? ›
In his career as an enemy to the dark occult, Blade has battled nearly every formidable bloodsucker there is, from Dracula himself, to Morbius The Living Vampire, to the immortal who cursed him in the first place, Deacon Frost. He's also fought Baron Blood, Blackout, and countless other creatures of the night.Is Morbius a villain of Blade? ›
Dr. Michael Morbius, Ph. D., M.D., better known as simply Morbius, is an anti-heroic antagonist from Marvel Comics, serving as an enemy to Spider-Man, Blade, and Ghost Rider. He was a biogenetic scientist who was dying of a blood-destroying disease.