John Wick Director Chad Stahelski Didn't Get The One Marvel Movie He Wanted

In an era where more filmmakers are admonishing the Marvel machine than commending it (often with good reason), it's kind of refreshing to hear the stories of the directors that Marvel actually had a positive affect on. No, I'm not talking about the Russo brothers, or any of the promising auteurs Kevin Feige plucks from indie obscurity. Marvel actually had a big influence on Chad Stahelski, who got his start performing stunts in "The Matrix" before going on to helm the "John Wick" films. The director even cut his teeth on a few Marvel sets, and it's there that he began a mentorship with the Marvel Studios president himself.

"Kevin [Feige] is an awesome guy and I've worked for him many times on second unit," Stahelski told Comic Book. "After 'John Wick 3,' he was nice enough to carve out a big chunk of time and have nice talk. He's been a ... in a way ... a very strong mentor, even though it was a short period of time."

The two have only spoken a handful of times, but the conversation naturally turned to which Marvel property (if any) Stahelski would be down to adapt in the future. It turns out that the director really only had one particular character on his mind, one who will actually be gracing the Marvel Cinematic Universe in his own film very soon! Just not with Stahelski at the helm.

The one that got away

Stahelski might not have started out as a superhero fan, but he's since thrown his hat in the ring to bring Blade back to the silver screen. It's been over 20 years since Wesley Snipes first shrugged on the leather trench coat — and kickstarted superhero flicks as we know them today. But it's definitely high time for another "Blade" film, and Stahelski might have been a great fit for the project. "I feel that one, for some reason, the vampire martial art action vibe," he told Comic Book in 2020. "That would be a cool one to stretch and try and reinvent."

It's a sentiment that he also shared with Kevin Feige during one of their meetings. "He actually asked me, 'What could we ever do?' I was like, 'Look, I'm not going to lie to you. I don't know if I fit that kind of studio mold, but Blade would be the one interesting thing I'd like to do.'"

Since then, the "Blade" reboot has since been announced, with Mahershala Ali starring as the impossibly-cool Daywalker and Bassam Tariq stepping in as director. Tariq turned heads as the director and co-writer of "Mogul Mowgli," so it'll be interesting to see his take on Blade. But a Blade film directed by Stahelski is nothing to sneeze at either.

Either way, the future's bright

While Stahelski was definitely into the idea of making a Blade film, he's been pretty casual about Marvel's decision to hand the reins to Tariq:

"I don't know if I would've been the best choice for that in the direction they wanted to go. If you want to do the edgy rated R version, yeah, give me a call. If you want to be non-apologetic, yeah. That's me. But I think they're protecting their brand, they're doing their thing. The individual they selected, I think is a very good director, and I think will do a great job in the direction that I think they want to take the property."

"Blade" might not have been in the cards for the director, but that's more than fine with him. He's got his hands full anyway, both with the "John Wick" franchise and with Lionsgate's reboot of "Highlander." Both projects seem to "fascinate" Stahelski more than, say, installment 34 of Marvel's ever-growing world. "I just like more of the original properties that you can grow from as opposed to step into a number five or a number six," he explained. "That's all. Just choice."

Indeed. There's a chance that another Marvel hero will ultimately catch Stahelski's eye later on — but even if that never happens, at least we know the director's happy where he is.