Blade is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. During the 2019 Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-con, Kevin Feige unveiled Marvel’s Phase 4. From Eternals to scary Doctor Strange to Natalie Portman as Lady Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder, it was a stacked 90 minutes. And honestly, that would have been enough! But no, Feige had one last surprise—a tease of Marvel beyond Phase 4. He brought up Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali who promptly put on a hat… “BLADE!” Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Blade, the Vampire Slayer.
Who is playing the titular character?
As mentioned above, two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali will play the daywalking half-vampire badass in the upcoming film. Notably, this isn’t Ali’s first foray into the Marvel Universe. He portrayed the villain Cottonmouth in the first season of Netflix’s Luke Cage. He also recently voiced Prowler in Sony’s Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Who is writing?
Marvel has tapped playwright Stacy Osei-Kuffour to write the upcoming film, per The Hollywood Reporter, making her the first Black woman to write a Marvel film. As a writer on HBO’s critically-acclaimed Watchmen series, Osei-Kuffour is no stranger to comic adaptations. Other writing credits include the series Hunter, Pen15, and Run.
Who is directing?
According to a July 19, 2021 report on Deadline, Marvel’s top choice is Bassam Tariq. The BAFTA-nominated filmmaker has mostly directed documentaries and shorts. However, he’s coming off of his narrative feature debut, Mogul Mowgli, a drama which he co-wrote with star Riz Ahmed. Marvel has not confirmed Deadline‘s report.
A very brief history of Blade.
Blade debuted in the tenth issue of Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula comic back in 1973, from writer Marv Wolfman and penciller Gene Colan. He quickly became a supremely popular character, a half-vampire killer of vampires and other occult baddies. Blade first made it to the big screen in 1998 starring Wesley Snipes. Two sequels follows—one of them good—but eventually, that franchise sort of fell by the wayside.
All of this just leads us to wonder how dark the movie could get. If the next Doctor Strange is a horror movie, then what’s to stop Blade from going full scary too? Nothing! Even if it doesn’t get as bloody as the Snipes movies did, a dark and scary PG-13 Blade could be, forgive the pun, Marvelous.
When will Blade, the Vampire Slayer land in theaters?
While we have our star and scribe, Marvel has yet to announce any other detail from the upcoming film—most notably a director and release date. We do know, however, that the film is not part of the MCU’s Phase 4 line-up. We also know, via The Hollywood Reporter, that production will begin in July 2022. So, for now, we can take a breather and begin theorizing how Mahershala Ali’s take on the famed character will join the forever-expanding MCU cast of characters.
Originally published on July 20, 2019. Updated Feb 5, 2021, May 5, 2021, and July 19, 2021.