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.
Aside from Ali’s starring role, we actually know remarkably little about Blade, and Marvel have been pretty tight-lipped on the subject. But now, in an exclusive with The Hollywood Reporter, 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 recent censorship issues.
After the news that Doctor Strange 2 will incorporate elements of horror, it might be that we’ll see something similar with Blade, given that its subject matter is a little darker than much of the existing MCU. The introduction of these tonal shifts – not to mention new characters – is sure to breathe a little new life into the MCU, and will surely help the record-breaking movie franchise appeal to an even wider audience.
In terms of a release date or director, Marvel have said nothing so far, although we do know that Blade will not be part of the MCU’s Phase 4, meaning that we’re not likely to see Ali as the badass Vampire hunter until the tail end of 2023 at the earliest.