Marvel Studios announced a Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali during their 2019 San Diego Comic-Con presentation. Three years later, sadly, the world is still waiting for the film. In fact, there isn’t even any story detail out in the world just yet. Fans also have no idea who the Daywalker might go up against.
But what are the possible villain options? The first one that comes to mind is Dracula, for obvious reasons. He’s a key villain to the character in the comics, and his name is instantly recognizable.
Some other options include Dracula’s children, Lilith and Xarus. Other options include Deacon Frost, the man who killed Blade’s mother, or even Lucas Cross, the titular hero’s father. Of course, there’s also Morbius, but given his current situation over at Sony Pictures, he’s likely not an option.
Now, it seems two other potential options have emerged, and from an unlikely place: She-Hulk.
Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for She-Hulk Episode 6, "Just Jen."
Mr. Immortal Reveals a Blade Villain
In She-Hulk’s sixth episode, there’s a key line of dialogue that may have given fans a hint of some villains who could show up in the upcoming Blade film.
The line in question comes from Mr. Immortal himself, as he addresses those he’s wronged. He offers everyone to split some “Apple shares” and some leftover “gold”—but not just any gold, but some that was left to him by his first wife, “Baroness Cromwell:”
“Ladies, Sebastian, how about this? I still have all of those Apple shares I bought in 1981, plus all the gold left to me by my first wife, Baroness Cromwell. How about we split it evenly eight ways, and call it a day.”
But who exactly is this Cromwell?
The Blood Baron and Baroness Cromwell
Before explaining who she is, let’s first address who Charles Cromwell is. In the comics, Charles was a pawn of Dracula, who was ordered to remove the stake from a vampire called the Blood Baron.
Who is the Blood Baron? The villain’s real name was Lord John Falsworth, and he became a vampire over a hundred years ago when he attempted to control Castle Dracula. Little did he know that a powerful vampire was residing there under the same name as the fortress.
It wasn’t long before Falsworth was turned into a vampire. He went on to work with the Germans in World War I, donning the name Baron Blood. During the war, he went up against the original Union Jack, as well as both Captain America and Bucky Barnes during the days of World War II.
Not long after the war, Baron Blood was seemingly dispatched with a wooden stake to the heart. But, thanks to Charles Cromwell, he got another lease on life. Charles did not, as he was quickly killed by Blood, as was one of his daughters, with Baron proceeding to steal his former identity.
In modern days, one of Baron Blood’s key conflicts was against Sam Wilson shortly after he became the new Captain America.
Now, as for Lily Cromwell, the name directly mentioned in She-Hulk (though, as Baroness Cromwell, instead of Lily), she was one of two daughters of Charles Cromwell. While the first was outright slain, Lily got lucky and became a vampire herself.
She eventually gave herself the name Baroness Blood and went on to become a member of the Legion of the Unliving, a group of vampires put together by none other than Dracula himself.
Will Mahershala Ali Meet the Baron?
She-Hulk isn’t the first MCU property to potentially hint at vampires. Owen Wilson’s Mobius got the honor of being the first in Loki’s first season, mentioning the undead race as one of the many types of people they bring into the TVA.
But does this brief Easter Egg in Tatiana Maslany’s Disney+ series mean anything? At the very least it shows that those names are on Marvel’s mind.
Marvel Studios loves to do its own thing when it comes to adapting characters. For those who have already had movies under previous ownership, that usually means fans shouldn’t expect rehashes of previously used material.
While it’s not entirely out of the picture that either will appear (Dracula has to show up at some point, right?), more unknown villains such as Baron Blood and "Baroness Cromwell" seem like perfect pickings for Marvel Studios. Their niche history also allows the creatives plenty of flexibility when it comes to how they choose to portray them.
Given the interesting history of both of them in various time periods, it could lead to the storytelling in Blade being a unique mixture of several eras at once. The story could have one thread following an encounter with Baron Blood in the early 1900s and then another in the present-day, potentially focusing on Baroness Blood—perhaps she wants to revive Baron, which could be what the final act culminates in.
Even with all that said, those villains are also pawns of Dracula. So, if he doesn't appear in the upcoming movie, the infamous horror iconic will almost certainly be referenced at the very least.
No matter what Marvel Studios chooses, hopefully, it comes together into a great story and fantastic film. After all, with a rumored Midnight Sons team-up project on the horizon, Blade could be a leading member, and having a strong foundation in place for the character would be very important.
Blade hits theaters on November 3, 2023.