MCU ’22 Pitch 10: Blade 2: Moonshine

The Deal: I pitch movies set in the Marvel or DC cinematic universes. Also other things. This pitch is a direct sequel to my Blade 1 pitch.

Usual caveat applies to diverse movies: it should be written/directed by people from that community, so Black writers, directors, and professionals of every stripe available, to get a more authentic vision.

We open on a hunt. Blade is stalking his way through a farmhouse. He finds a splash of blood on the wall. He pours a little colloidal silver on the blood, and it reacts, making him think that it belongs to vampires. Blade smiles a fangy grin. He continues to stalk through the home, coming to the rear. In the back yard, he can see a gathering of men, but not quite what’s happening. Men in white robes are gathered in a circle, and we hear their leader speaking as Blade pushes the sliding door open. These aren’t technically Klan robes; they’re more knock-off Khonshu robes, but there’s enough similarities it will read.“We call upon Lord Khonshu, and seek his favor, his blessing, and his avatar. And we offer up this sacrifice.” Hanging off a tall wooden cross is a beaten black man.

Blade charges, attacking. It’s subtle, to start, but only his silver weapons are effective; they’re shrugging off his other attacks. The leader, Dr. Druid, removes his hood. “Brothers, kill the interloper.” The others remove their hoods, and begin to transform into werewolves. Blade is in trouble; he’s surrounded by werewolves, stronger, faster, more pack-minded than vampires. He’s slashed across the chest, buffeted by blows. An engine roars, and a white motorcycle flies over stalks of corn, knocking one of the wolves back and skidding to a stop behind Blade. “The avatar!” Druid proclaims, as Moon Knight extends a hand to Blade.

“Come on!” he yells. He grabs Blade’s hand, and pulls him after the bike as he roars off, Blade contorting as they go to slide behind him on the bike. Blade’s hurt pretty bad, fighting to stay upright on the bike, before passing out and falling. I kind of like the idea that he impacts wetly on the concrete, with a blood splatter spelling on the screen, “Blade 2: Moonshine.”

Blade wakes up in a small home, lots of hard wood, fairly rustic. “I assumed you wouldn’t want to be taken to a hospital,” Moon Knight says.

“First place the wolves would have checked.” Moon Knight gives him a stiff cup of black coffee. “That was amateur hour.”

“You were expecting vampires?”

“Their blood reacted to silver. Didn’t expect a pack of angry wolves. You Khonshu? Or at least his avatar.” He shakes his head. “Sacrifice not up to snuff?”

“Khonshu’s an asshole, but he’s a judgmental asshole. He doesn’t like live sacrifice- neither do I.”

We hear Layla over a radio. “Sierra to Kilo.”

Moon Knight keys his handset. “Go for Kilo.”

“You two stirred up a hornet’s nest. They’re still hiving. Their Golf is still breathing, at least. How’s Bravo?”

“Recovered.”

“I heal fast,” Blade says.

“What do you hear?” Moon Knight asks.

“Paranoia and confusion,” Layla says. “They can’t decide if you showed up to rescue Bravo or protect them from him.”

“Call the play.”

“I’m staying here, make sure Golf is safe. If they move on him, I can swoop in.”

“Keep us posted. We’ll come running.”

“Why don’t we hit them now?” Blade asks as he puts the radio down.

“Because the ones you saw are the alpha pack- leaders from packs across the valley. One howl, and there’d be a hundred of wolves descending on that yard. Two, and it would be a thousand. This is more than a you, me, and Red Scarab problem.”

“I might have a favor I can call in.” Blade texts with Luke. He’s busy, working on a Heroes for Hire gig. But Sam Wilson’s down in Louisiana, just a hop and a skip from him. He’ll put in a call. “How would you feel about an Avenger?”

“A Thor or a Hulk could even the playing field.”

“I don’t have a chit that big to cash in. But Captain America’s kicking around.”

“The one with the wings?” he asks skeptically.

“I heard that,” Layla says, walking in and getting into the fridge. “You want anything, True Blood?” she asks Blade.

“Their guest?” Moon Knight asks.

“Back in his cage. And the moon is back behind cloud cover for the rest of the night. They won’t try again until tomorrow.”

“That gives us time to prepare.”

We cut to the morning. Sam has his wings briefcase, and knocks on the front door of a small home. “It’s probably crap,” he says into his phone, talking to his sister. “The last time Luke gave me an address, it was a prank. Wish we didn’t have the same people in Harlem. Least this time he paid for first class.” Blade answers the door. “I’ll have to call you back.”

Cut to later, inside, where they’ve clearly been talking. “So it’s a bunch of werewolves?” Sam asks.

“Redneck werewolves,” Moon Knight says.

“I’m… out,” Sam says.

“What?” Blade asks.

“I may not like redneck werewolves, but, hostage aside, I’m not on board stabbing and killing hundreds of people.”

“They aren’t just minding their own business, here,” Moon Knight insists. “They’ve tainted the moonshine they sell under the table. It’s how they spread lycanthropy. It will also spread the old fashioned way. Think a pandemic spread by biting- and the virus makes people very bitey. Worse, it spreads a lot faster if the initial population is multiplied a few times.”

Sam sighs. “I’m back in. At least for getting the hostage free and sabotaging their moonshine production. But we pull back on loss of life. Steve wouldn’t want me getting blood all over his shield.”

“Maybe white wasn’t the best color for your suit,” Blade mocks him.

The next night, they assault the compound, hoping to rescue the hostage before the full-on assault. They succeed, but Sam gets snatched in the bargain. The old sacrifice was Moon Knight’s inside man, before he was discovered. You could make him Werewolf by Night (who will be debuting in a Halloween MCU special on Disney+, apparently), or someone else.

From him we learn plot details, and it might make sense to spill some of the beans from him here, now. Dr. Druid hopes that he can kill Moon Knight and replace him as Khonshu’s avatar, in the somewhat misguided belief it would let him control the wolves directly (he’s largely been getting by with lycanthrope supremacist soundbites, but they’ve resisted anything beyond their own agenda).

They all sustained pretty horrific injuries in the raid; they all have healing factors so we might as well get our money’s worth, plus it gives us an excuse to wait until the next night for their assault. The others go to bed, and Moon Knight has a conversation with Khonshu. Khonshu is livid that he’s loafing. He says that they have to wait until morning, to recuperate- that if they go back tonight one, maybe all of them, will be killed. Khonshu says he’d resurrect him; he’s not worried about himself, but they only have the one shot- if they screw it up, it will take too much time for them to regroup, heal and mount another operation- by then Druid will be too strong (I want it in this scene to feel like Khonshu’s affections are perhaps waning, that he’s contemplating Druid’s offer). Subtly, Khonshu disappears into the empty door past Layla’s (there are four bedrooms total).

Layla has Tawaret in her room. Because it’s funny, the hippo goddess is sitting in a twin bed, kicking her legs behind her like a tweenage girl. “I never understood the Twilight thing, but Blade… him I could see choosing over Taylor Lautner.”

“I’m a married woman. And vampires, even ones who can walk in the daylight, creep me out.”

“You’re only married to 1/3 of Marc. That means you’re 2/3 single.”

“I don’t think it works that way; I especially don’t think Marc thinks it works that way. Now shoo. I’m supposed to be sleeping. And healing.” The hippo leaves, in the direction of the room where Khonshu disappeared.

Inside Blade’s room, we see him tending to his wounds. Since it’s his movie, he gets the coolest injuries, including having to remove a werewolf claw, essentially a small knife, out of his leg. He’s also talking on the phone with Misty (because it would be weird if he were on the phone with his mommy and we’re running out of supporting cast). “Good old boy werewolves?” she asks, in her weary way.

“These definitely mean harm.”

“You quoting Dukes of Hazard?”

“I wasn’t there for the General Lee. But before someone explained ‘white-washing’ to me, or what that flag on their car meant, it was hard to beat the driving.”

“Look, I appreciate 3 AM calls as much as the next girl, but you’re in a different time zone, so it’s 4 here, and you’re in a different time zone, so we can’t even make the fun kind of 3 AM mistake. So why’d you ring?”

“It’s getting to me. Vampires spread as an afterthought, and even when they form alliances, it’s about power. This goes the other way. These good old boys… they’re willing to become monsters. They hate so much they’d give up being men to keep the world from moving on without them.”

“They’ve always been monsters; that’s why they don’t hesitate. And I don’t know I see all that much difference. Both vampires and these werewolves are willing to do horrible things to keep what they think is theirs- and what big eyes they’ve got. They think they should control you for your skin, me for my gender. They have monstrous ends; of course they’ll use monstrous means.”

“Thanks,” Blade says. “I needed to hear that.”

“So it’s easier to kill them?”

Blade sort of chuckles. “Been spending too much time with Captain America. Almost starting to feel respectable.” She laughs with him.

They go in stealthy, dispatching a few wolves on the way in. They find Sam. He isn’t responsive- though he’s still in costume. They manage to carry him outside, but they’re ambushed by Druid and a gaggle of wolves. They’re worried; there are more than the previous night, when they got the hell kicked out of them and lost Sam. That’s when Druid starts chanting.

Sam falls to the ground, and starts puking. One of the avatars reacts to the putrid smell. “God. What is that?”

Blade, whose nose is more sensitive, snarls, and says, “Moonshine.” Sam howls as he starts to transform into Capwolf! (For the uninitiated, that is a Captain America werewolf!) Knight wants to kill him before he can fully transform- that their odds are already long, and fighting a flying Capwolf would overwhelm them; Blade intervenes. “We kill him to make things easier on us, how are we any better than them?”

“I don’t care if we’re better than them, especially if ‘better’ means ‘dead.’”

“Marc,” Moon Knight’s Steven Grant persona says. “We can’t kill Captain America.” Annoyed, Moon Knight looks to Layla, who kind of shrugs.

“I think he’s right,” she says. “And it probably makes it worse; the white Captain America lasted eighty years. He’s had it like eighty weeks.”

“Actually,” Steven again, “there was a Black Captain America. Fought in the Korean War. Fascinating story.”

“Steven, what did I say about spending time on the dark web?”

“That it’s only for purchasing illegal weaponry and peculiar pornography.”

“And not to believe anything you read there.”

“Peculiar?” Layla asks.

“Jake’s into some… things.”

“Calling them ‘things’ only makes me more intrigued,” Jake says.

Moon Knight relents. “I hope I don’t live to regret this.”

“Well I hope we live,” Layla teases.

As soon as he’s turned, Sam attacks Moon Knight, because Druid, who is controlling him, wants to prove he’s the better avatar. At first Blade and Layla fight the wolves, until Layla realizes she’s got a tactical advantage with the wings, and starts doing fly-bys.

Sam abandons Moon Knight at Druid’s direction, and takes off after Layla. Aerial fight! (I didn’t even plan this one, we just got lucky that the Moon Knight series created a winged heroine!). Sam, as both the more experienced flier and as the main martial threat, eventually wins; I’m going to say he manages to knock her into a tree, taking her out of the fight for some time.

Because Blade’s making a beeline through wolves for Druid, Sam attacks him next. Blade does his best not to injure him, even as Capwolf slashes at him with his claws. Blade does nick him a couple times, but he’s intentionally not doing too much harm. Eventually, they’re wrestling for control of Blade’s sword. Blade is either going to have to run Sam through or lose. So he tries a different approach, and pleads with him, “You know how much it means for you to be in that suit? Don’t make me cut you out of it.”

Capwolf grabs Blade’s blade by the blade, and his skin sizzles. For a moment Blade is horrified Sam’s going to break it then gut him. Then Capwolf speaks, haltingly. “Silver- pain- cuts through, helps me concentrate.” Blade hands him a silver throwing knife, and Sam holds it by the blade, and squares to Druid. Blade and Sam fight Druid hand to hand; I’m going to say, to make the fight interesting, he’s been getting high on his own supply, so at a crucial moment he can wolf out, so he’s a werewolf mage fighting the pair of them. Because it’s his movie- and because he’s more willing to kill-Blade delivers the killing blow.

With Druid gone and Capwolf on their side, they turn the tide. The next-most senior alpha takes over, and howls loudly, calling wolves from miles away. Fighting gets dire, until Steven Grant takes over. He mentions watching a documentary about wolves, that while wolves in captivity tend to have an alpha, in the wild packs are families. In the wild, someone who kills their alpha is a threat- they’ve proven they aren’t pack material. “If someone moves into your neighborhood and kills the head of your HSA, you aren’t likely to bring them biscuits.”

“So Sam takes one of them to a cotillion?” Layla offers. “Just pick the prettiest werewolf.”

“I’m pretty sure they’re all boys, from what I see bouncing,” Moon Knight says.

That could work, too,” she says/

Blade smells at the air. His specialty might be vampires, but he knows enough about werewolves to identify the alpha. He points him out, and Sam fights him. The others have to buy him space at first, but it quickly becomes clear that the other wolves aren’t trying to hurt them- they want to watch the fight.

Sam bests the alpha, but because he lets him live, the others submit to him. Capwolf tells them to abandon their plan- to wolf for themselves. “And stop being racist!” he roars directly into camera.

We cut back to their staging cabin. Moon Knight and Layla are loading their car. “You sure you don’t want to come with us?” Layla asks.

“New York this time of year is cold and wet,” Moon Knight says. “That seems like it would be your kind of thing.”

“I’ll need to stop in on some family, but otherwise… I don’t know where I’m headed. Haven’t figured it out.”

“Well, lock up when you go. And if you drink all the beer, buy more beer.”

“Yeah,” Layla says. “You wouldn’t like him when he’s thirsty.”

“And a mellow red wouldn’t go amiss,” Moon Knight says, in Steven’s voice. “Or an aged scotch,” Jake Lockley’s voice this time.

They get in the car, and as they drive off we pan around to see Sam, still a wolf, leaning his head out the window, his tongue lolling out of his mouth as he sniffs excitedly at the air.

Blade enters the cabin sometime later. He’s got a lot of liquor, as requested by Moon Knight’s various personalities. “Wonder if each one of him has a different liver,” he wonders idly. He hears a phone start to ring. I think it’s the silly propaganda song from Captain America: The First Avenger.

Blade walks over to find Sam’s phone on the floor where he dropped it, nearly out of battery. We can see from the caller ID that it’s Sam’s sister. “Hello?” he asks.

“I was looking for Sam.”

“He’s at the doctor.” He realizes what that could imply, in Sam’s line of work. “Should be routine.”

“Yeah. Well… something strange is happening here. Kind of strange he might need his suit for.” We pull back, to see a single zombie, tied up with ropes by her sons. It groans, and we cut to Blade riding his motorcycle south. He’s joined by another cyclist, who nods at him, before his skull catches fire, and we go back to credits (personally, I’d bring back Nicolas Cage… unless Marvel has bigger plans for him in the MCU).

Mid Credits scene: Okay, I’m just swinging for the fences at this point. We show the front door of Bloodstone Manor from the inside. There’s a thunderous, booming knock.

We cut to the porch, where Brother Voodoo just knocked. From behind him he hears a posh British woman, her voice full of threat. “Not entirely sure your sort are welcome here. Sorcerers. The family’s been hunting monsters since before there were Americas. Some might wonder if you’d throw in with that lot.”

“Elsa,” he says, “charming as ever.”

“Jericho. Never where you’re wanted to be.”

“And where’s that?”

“Some bloody place else, I’d imagine, because you aren’t welcome here.”

“I’m starting to wonder if I should be taking this personally.”

“You personally ruin my day every time you darken my doorstep. Come over once for tea or a chin wag, maybe then I’ll consider us mates.”

Voodoo opens up a portal; he can use a sling ring, or we can do something else entirely. “Elsa, get your gun. There’s monsters in need of slaying.”

She lays a somewhat comically large gun across her shoulder, and follows him into the portal. “Well, you know how much of a slut I am for saving humanity from the things that go bump in the night.” The portal closes behind her.

End credits scene: We’re in Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. “This is going to hurt,” Dr. Strange says. Sam screams, as he de-wolfs.

“Ow,” he says, still curled into a small, pained ball on the floor.

“People never listen when I tell them something is going to hurt.”

“Is he going to be okay?” Bucky asks, as Sam continues to moan on the ground.

“What do I look like, a doctor?” Strange deadpans, and we cut to black.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.