Since Marvel’s Blade reboot was announced by Kevin Feige back in July of 2019, updates on the anti-hero’s much-anticipated induction into the MCU have been few and far between.
Following Wesley Snipes’ iconic turn as the daywalker, it would seem that Marvel might have their work cut out for them to set this iteration of the character apart, and they started strong, with the announcement of star Mahershala Ali in the title role.
Ali’s casting is a perfect one; not only does he command the on-screen presence needed of a character like Blade, but he’s a two-time Academy Award winner who’s displayed time and again his incredible acting talent. He’s also no stranger to Marvel properties – he voiced Prowler in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and he had an unforgettable turn as Cottonmouth in Netflix’s Luke Cage, so comic book fans are undoubtedly incredibly excited to see what he can bring to his new role in the MCU.
It’s been announced that playwright Stacy Osei-Kuffour will write the film. Osei-Kuffour is a writer for HBO’s Watchmen series, so it’s safe to say she’s well versed in the delicate art of comic book adaptation. It’s also worth noting that Osei-Kuffour is the first Black woman to write a Marvel film, which certainly lends parent company Disney’s “Stories Matter” campaign a little credibility after their censorship issues with some of their older films.
In September 2021, it was announced that Bassam Tariq is set to direct the film. Tariq directed 2020’s Mogul Mowgli, which he co-wrote with Riz Ahmed.
While no official release date has been announced as yet, there are currently three available release slots for Marvel movies in 2023, and it’s likely that Blade will take one of these. Filming is set expected to begin in July 2022, which allows Marvel their standard 12-18 months from start of production to release late in 2023.
Currently, Blade‘s confirmed cast only consists of Mahershala Ali. After the character’s brief voice-only cameo in the post-credits scene of 2021’s Eternals, it was hinted that Ali’s iteration of Blade might work alongside Kit Harington’s Black Knight. There’s also the possibility that Blade will see its titular hero team up with Midnight Sons members Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) or Moon Knight (Oscar Isaac).
Marvel have yet to tease any details of Blade‘s story, although after the unprecedented fan service of Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s story, it’s safe to say that the studio will look to do something special with their resident daywalker.