- Release Date: September 6, 2024
- Director: Yann Demange
- Studio: Marvel
The Blade movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will star Mahershala Ali in the title role. It is set to reboot the character from the Wesley Snipes version.
In some ways, it feels like we’ve been waiting for Marvel’s Blade ever since the MCU started. In 2019 Marvel completed its Phase 3 slate with Avengers: Endgame, a movie 12 years in the making. It was a fitting and satisfying end to everything that came before the grand finale. So obviously the burning question is: What’s next? What is Phase 4 all about? What will the Marvel movie order ahead hold for this mighty cinematic universe?
Marvel President Kevin Feige presented Phase 4 at the San Diego Comic-Con which included a slate that will hit both the big and small screen, to fans’ delight.
But what really caught everyone’s ear was Feige’s surprise announcement that hinted at what Marvel’s Phase 5 will include. Blade, which originally had Wesley Snipes in the starring role, would now be getting a Marvel reboot. What’s more surprising is that Snipes will not reprise his role as the superhero daywalker. The role of Blade has been given to Mahershala Ali.
MAHERSHALA ALI IS THE NEW BLADE
Enter Ali, who just came off his second Academy win. He called Feige to ask for a meeting and as Feige told the Hollywood Reporter, “When Mahershala calls, you answer.” And answer he did. Ali went in and got right to his point. He wanted to do Blade, BE Marvel’s Blade, and that was pretty much all Feige had to hear.
Mahershala Ali is a two-time Academy Award winner, winning first for Best Supporting Actor in Barry Jenkins’ 2016 film Moonlight. He brought home his second Academy Award, and added a Golden Globe win, for his portrayal of Don Shirley in the 2018 drama, The Green Book.
Here’s one fan’s concept of how Ali could look as Marvel’s new Blade…
While Ali has been in Hollywood for a little over a decade, it’s only been the past few years that he has seen his star rise. His first major movie role was David Fincher’s 2008 release of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. His supporting role on Netflix’s political thriller House of Cards gained Ali more attention and he also starred in the final two films as Boggs in The Hunger Game series.
He was also on HBO’s acclaimed series True Detective playing Detective Wayne Hays. Ali is no stranger to the Marvel Universe. He provided the voice of Uncle Aaron in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and was also Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in Netflix’s Luke Cage.
MAHERSHALA ALI FIRST APPEARED AS BLADE IN ETERNALS
Though we never get to actually see him, Mahershala Ali did come into the Marvel Cinematic Universe prior to the Blade reboot. It was in the end scene for Eternals which you can see above. In it, Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman is accessing the Ebony Blade for the first time and suddenly he hears someone ask, “You sure you’re ready for that?”
That voice is Mahershala Ali and it is his first credit as Blade in this universe. It sent some shockwaves through the fandom knowing that he was connected to the MCU in this way and suggests that the character could be considerably more powerful than what we saw with the Wesley Snipes version.
THE FIRST BLADE REBOOT DIRECTOR, BASSAM TARIQ LEFT THE FILM
In something of a shocking move, the original director of the Blade reboot, Bassim Tariq, announced that he would be leaving the film before production started. The official reason for the move wasn’t released by Marvel, but Giant Freakin Robot had the exclusive that Tariq had come into conflict with Ali about script rewrites.
Apparently, the two weren’t seeing eye-to-eye on certain elements, and that Tariq ended up deciding to walk away. Additionally, it was reported the script itself had major issues including being only 90 pages long and having just two action scenes. This has left the movie certainly in a state of flux for the time being. Leading to…
MARVEL’S BLADE REBOOT IS DELAYED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 6, 2024
With Bassim Tariq leaving Marvel’s Blade reboot and the script maybe needing some rewrites, the decision was made to delay the film from its original date. At first, the plan had been for it to hit the big screen on November 3, 2023, but that’s no longer the case. Now, it will be (hopefully) on September 6, 2024. Deadpool 3 is now taking over the 2023 slot.
WESLEY SNIPES WAS OKAY WITH A NEW LEAD FOR MARVEL’S BLADE REBOOT
It wasn’t long until the original day-walker came out, backing Marvel’s move and showing nothing but love for the new Blade.
He wrote this to ComicBook.com. “To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx. Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL GOOD. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU crew – always a fan. Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan. Congratulations and Salaam to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come. Inshallah, we will someday work together. Most importantly to my loyal fans, the incredible outpouring of love is overwhelming. I am grateful for the never-ending support. So, ‘nah fret nah worry, it’s not de end of de story.’ Welcome to the Daywalker Klique.”
WESLEY SNIPES COULD APPEAR IN MARVEL’S BLADE REBOOT
So Marshala Ali is the new Blade and Wesley Snipes is all for it. But could Snipes end up in the movie? We’re hearing that yes he could. Our sources share that Kevin Feige, Marvel boss, wants to see Wesley Snipes return as Blade (likely via the Multiverse).
In the past there have been concerns about erratic on-set behavior from Snipes. But no one has ever doubted that he’s a tremendous actor. Now 57-years-old he’s too old to play Blade, but maybe aging and dealing with his past has tempered him. It’ll be up to Disney to decide whether that’s so. The Multiverse has opened this as a possibility more than ever before.
BLADE WAS FIRST CREATED IN 1973
Blade was originally a Marvel Comics Marv Wolfman/Gene Colan creation that debuted in 1973. In it, Eric Brooks is turned half-human when his mother is attacked by a vampire while she is giving birth to him. As Eric grew, he realized he inherited powers possessed by the vampire.
He took the name Blade and begun his fight battling supernatural creatures and threats. Wesley Snipes played this role to perfection in three Blade movies released in 1998, 2002, and 2004.
DOCTOR STRANGE 2 BEGAN THE PROCESS OF BRINGING ABOUT MARVEL’S BLADE
The announcement of a new Blade was met with mixed emotions. Many were overjoyed by the fact that Ali was taking over the role Wesley Snipes made famous. Snipes starred in the trilogy and the first two, Blade and Blade II received rave reviews. But the third, Blade: Trinity was met with less than an enthusiastic welcome. The series died. But that didn’t stop Snipes fans from voicing their opinion on the new announcement. The die-hards still want to see the original day-walking vampire slayer.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige claims the company always wanted to find a way back into Blade’s world. Who doesn’t like a half-vampire vampire slayer? It had always been a thought but one that seemed to remain on the back burner.
It wasn’t until the new Doctor Strange storyline was being put together that Feige thought maybe it was time to return to Blade. Feige felt the supernatural aspect Doctor Strange showcased would lend itself to exploring Blade in a big way.
SEE FAN IMAGES OF WHAT MAHERSHALA ALI COULD LOOK LIKE IN MARVEL’S BLADE
Blade fans seem pretty happy with the new direction of the franchise. While we’re waiting to see our first official images of Marshala Ali as the new Daywalker, fans have gotten busy crafting their own fan art versions depicting him as Blade. Here are a few of the best…
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