Blade: did you know that Morbius was to appear in the 1998 film?

“Morbius” has just been released in French cinemas. But did you know that the Living Vampire, now played by Jared Leto, almost appeared in the first film “Blade” released in 1998? Back to this little-known story.

Morbius : Jared Leto is in the place

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, the director of Close security and of Life – Origin Unknown, Morbius has been available in French theaters since March 30. Worn by Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Jared Harris and Tyrese Gibson, the feature film chronicles the beginnings of Morbius in the Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.

Michael Morbius is a brilliant scientist with a terrible blood disease. He then decides to use the DNA of bats to develop a treatment. If he manages to find the antidote to his incurable disease, he transforms himself into a an ugly vampireforced to feed on human blood if he wants to stay alive.

Morbius©Sony Pictures

Morbius first appeared in 1971 in Marvel comics. Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kanethe character is first introduced as an enemy of Spider-Man in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #101. But over time, the Living Vampire becomes more ambiguous and shifts from supervillain to anti-hero status. Recently, Morbius has been quite rare in the pages of comics, but with the release of the Sony movie, this protagonist should regain prominence.

Blade : a precursor

If we had to wait 2022 to see Morbius land in the cinemahe almost made his first cinematic appearance in the late 1990s.

In 1998, the filmmaker Stephen Norrington directs Blade for New Line Cinema. Worn by Wesley Snipes, the feature film is a bit precursor of the genre. Indeed, at the time, the X-Men haven’t been released yet, Spider-Man hasn’t had his Tobey Maguire adaptation yet, and the MCU won’t debut until 10 years later. In this sense, Blade can sometimes be considered as the whole first Marvel superhero film of the modern era.

Blade (Wesley Snipes) - Blade
Blade (Wesley Snipes) – Blade ©New Line Cinema

For those unfamiliar with Blade, he is a half-man, half-vampire vigilante who spends his time tracking down vampires who terrorize humans. Created in 1973 by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, Blade is a purebred anti-hero, who was suitable for three cinema occasions, played each time by Wesley Snipes. The character is also about to be rebooted in the MCU as Mahershala Ali.

Morbius was to appear at the end of the film

So we are in 1998. Stephen Norrington has just finished the first Blade, and originally had to come back to realize Blade II, before being replaced by Guillermo Del Toro. At the time of the first film, Stephen Norrington already had more ideas. Indeed, initially Blade was to conclude with the appearance of a major character: Morbius.

To recontextualize, at the end of the film, Blade confronts Deacon Frost, who has become a superpowered vampire. Obviously, the vigilante wins his fight, drops a little punchline to say he’ll be back in a sequel.

Morbius (Stephen Norrington) - Blade
Morbius (Stephen Norrington) – Blade ©New Line Cinema

But if this end was kept in the final cut of the film, Stephen Norrington had another desire: spawn Morbius. Indeed, the ending sequence had to be longer. After Blade’s final fight, the camera had to move away from the hero to show a mysterious figure watching him.

In the distance, on the roof of a skyscraper, there must have been a man, alone, dressed in a leather coat, his long hair blowing in the wind. You will have understood, this character was none other than Morbius, played by Stephen Norrington himself. Indeed, the filmmaker had not cast anyone for the role, and had himself endorsed the black mantle for the purposes of this cameo. It was in any case a superb teaser worthy of a post-generic scene which was to announce the arrival of the Living Vampire in Blade II.

Unfortunately, with the departure of Stephen Norrington, this ambitious element was abandoned by the studio. While we were still very far from the innumerable current crossovers, New Line Cinema remained cautious about presenting Morbius to spectators. And then, anyway, Guillermo Del Toro left for other horizons. We will therefore have to be satisfied with the version of Jared Leto :

Blade: did you know that Morbius was to appear in the 1998 film? – CineSeries