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Remember When Morbius Was Almost in ‘Blade?’ (Video)

The scrapped alternate ending to the 1998 Wesley Snipes film teed up a showdown that never happened

In the realm of superhero movies, it’s hard to remember back to 1998, before “X-Men” or Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” or the impressively interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s when Stephen Norrington’s hugely influential, weirdly overlooked “Blade” (starring Wesley Snipes as the half-human/half-vampire monster hunter) hit the big screen, effectively signaling the start of the modern era of superhero cinema, one that featured more complicated heroes, technological innovation and impressive storytelling styles. And it’s important to remember, as the Jared Leto version of “Morbius” hits the big screen, that the character almost shared the big screen with Blade, if only for a few short seconds.

To explain: screenwriter David S. Goyer, who would later co-write Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, was notorious for writing multiple endings. The “Blade” ending we wound up with, which saw the daywalker travel to snowy Russian to hunt down vampires, was admittedly pretty cool. It got the blood pumping in a fun way and that techno soundtrack was awesomely ahead of its time too.

But they filmed another ending.

This ending, which you can watch above, saw Blade rejuvenated after conquering Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff). He sees a masked figure on another building, draped in black. (The character was so far away and out of focus that he was actually portrayed by Norrington.) Blade looks across the way, ready to face down his next foe … and cut to black, cue the techno.

Apparently this was filmed with the intention of making the sequel about Blade battling Morbius. (In the comic books, it’s Morbius who bites Blade, who at the time was a human vampire hunter, turning him into the iconic daywalker we know today.) Those plans fell apart, obviously, and the sequel, released in 2002 and directed by Guillermo del Toro, invented a new strain of vampires called the Reapers and followed a “Dirty Dozen”-style group of hard-asses called the Blood Pack to go up against Blade.

Now that Blade has rejoined the MCU, with Mahershala Ali stepping into the black leather duster, and Morbius is clearly stuck in Sony’s Spider-Man-adjacent sub-universe, a showdown between the two characters seems unlikely … at least for now.

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