MCU’s future offerings like Doctor Strange 2 and Blade will tread into of horror genre which poses a new challenge for the production giant.
During Comic-Con 2019 revealed two projects, namely Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Blade, will have horror elements in them. So far, we only have the release date of the former i.e. March 25, 2022, and that Sam Raimi will be directing it. As for the latter, we only know that 2-time Academy-award-winner Mahershala Ali will play the role of the renowned vampire slayer.
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Marvel’s Issues with R-Rate Content
Let us begin by talking about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We already have a clear idea about Doctor Strange and his dealings with magic. In the comic, Doctor Strange often delves into gothic horror and dark mystics corners.
The first Doctor Strange movie did have some visually thrilling elements. Remember the Ancient One showing who Stephen is “in this vast multiverse”? Also, the very name “Dormammu” does have a touch of something ghastly to it. To talk about the sequel, the multiverse is yet unknown to us, the Marvel fans. Interestingly, Scott Derickson then director of Doctor Strange sequel described the movies as ‘Marvel’s first horror movie’. Later he was replaced by the studio and Raimi was brought in. The word is Derickson wanted to use Nightmare as the antagonist and had creative differences. Fans and critics both argued at the time whether the studio is afraid to attempt the horror genre altogether.
Surprisingly, borrowing a few words from Man of Steel (DC), “People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” This can be a way in which Doctor Strange 2 will be able to show elements of horror, not the usual horror but to play with the unknown. As the real issue with MCU is that it needs to be ‘kid’s friendly’ as a Disney subsidiary Marvel sticks to no R-rated content policy.
The Return of Blade in The MCU
MCU’s Blade, on the other hand, is more of a horror flick if looking at it from a superhero perspective. The previous films that had Wesley Snipes as the lead, received average reviews from critics and viewers alike. Perhaps the reason for this was the very stereotypical representation of vampires and their world.
Carrying out business deals in blood, lineage, and usurping, arising from the dead, all these are substances that have come down the years and that which we all were accustomed to, even back then. Other than this, there was nothing that stood out in any of the films. However, Wesley Snipes did do justice to the role but it wasn’t enough.
That the upcoming Blade film will have elements of horror should be dealt with care by Marvel. We have already seen the SPUMC’s Morbius trailer, and it does have such horror elements in it. And we can only hope that same is the case with Blade. As for the casting, Mahershala Ali seems to be a great choice for the role.
And with the multiverse coming into play, who knows, we might see Blade and Morbius face to face! After all, the first Blade film (1998) did have a deleted scene featuring Morbius in a cameo. The reason why it was deleted is that Marvel Entertainment denied the rights to use the character. Again, we know that Morbius is a villain who makes his appearance in Spidey’s world. So we might end up seeing these three guys together in MCU’s horror movie sometime in the not too distant future also! Well, it seems that everything is indeed connected.
Marvel Tussle With Horror Genre
According to Jason Blum, founder & CEO of Blumhouse Productions, it is tough to “do horror at big budgets, but if anyone can do it, it’s Marvel.” Blumhouse Production ash given us horror films like Paranormal Activity franchise, Insidious franchise, The Purge franchise, and other films like Sinister, Occulus, the Gift, Hush, Halloween, and more. His comment about big-budget makes a lot of sense.
This is because most of the popular horror films like A Quiet Place and Get Out have proved that a big budget and expensive sequences are not necessary for a genuinely scary story. Marvel will have to let go of its witty banter and come out with something new and never-before-seen by its fans. Surely, Disney and Marvel’s heads would find a way around the R-rated content soon. There have been rumours about the studios leaning into the idea of a sub-genre by bypassing the PG-13 content rule to excite new demography. Yet, we do trust Marvel to give us just what is needed. Why? Because it always has.