The Blade film series introduced its half-human, vampire-hunting superhero at a time when Marvel wasn’t the cinematic giant it is today. But then it culminated in 2004’s Blade: Trinity and followed by the short-lived Spike TV series. It was more than a decade later that Marvel boss Kevin Feige officially announced that Blade will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that a movie is in the works. But since then, new information about the film has been scarce, save for the recent report which states that Marvel is looking for a Black filmmaker to helm the new Blade film.
A new report by The Hollywood Reporter says that just like Warner Bros. is looking at potential Black directors for their upcoming Superman reboot, penned by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Marvel too, is in search of a Black filmmaker for its new Blade film starring the two-time Oscar-winner and former rapper Mahershala Ali.
The update from The Hollywood Reporter further adds that Marvel has already met a few potential directors for Blade. The possibility that both Marvel and Warner Bros. is looking at the same list of directors was also raised. While no particular name has been highlighted, the report speculates the chances of Steven Caple Jr., J.D. Dillard, Regina King, and Shaka King’s names being on the list.
The first Blade film, starring Wesley Snipes came out in 1998 and was directed by Stephen Norrington. Guillermo del Toro helmed Blade II and David S. Goyer took over Blade: Trinity. It was always expected that if the Blade films ever saw a resurgence, Snipes would be reprising his role as the vampire-human hybrid. But when Feige announced plans to reboot Blade’s story, he shared that Mahershala Ali would be playing the titular character. The announcement was followed by fans of Wesley Snipes wanting the actor to return to the role instead. The actor asked his loyal followers to “chillaaxx” as Ali is a talented artist and he is harboring no hard feeling against Marvel Studios.
But that’s the end of any major developments on the new Blade film, save for the recent announcement that Watchmen’s Stacy Osei-Kuffour has been hired by Marvel to write the script and that filming will begin in July 2022. Maybe Marvel is busy pondering how to fit in a vampire-slaying hero in the pretty much black and white superhero world it has built, or perhaps the search for the right director is taking longer than expected, but the new Blade film is pretty much behind its expected schedule.
Given the fact that the announcement was made by Feige nearly two years ago, it was expected that the film would be a part of the MCU Phase 4 or at the most, Phase 5. But apart from its lead actor, the rest of the cast for the Blade reboot is yet to be finalized and there is no guarantee that the production date won’t be postponed again.
As per THR’s report, Marvel’s search for a director for Blade: Vampire Slayer is currently in full swing, and judging by its recent choices, like Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao directing Eternals, we can rest assured that the reins of the Mahershala Ali film will also be in good hands.