2000’s X-Men and 2002’s Spider-Man are usually the go-to films cited as early examples of today’s superhero films. But a movie that’s often forgotten during this discussion is 1998’s Blade. Wesley Snipes starred as the half-human half-vampire and the film was a gritty, noir-esque adventure back when everyone thought superhero meant wearing a cape.
Blade did just as much for modern superheroes as those later films did, so it’s great to learn that the character is back, and he will be in the MCU. Mahershala Ali is the new Blade, Marvel announced during their SDCC panel this weekend. The two-time Oscar winner won’t arrive until the MCU hits Phase 5, but this is fantastic news for fans who were pining for an MCU Blade.
This has been on the cards for a while, ever since the Blade rights reverted back to Marvel Studios. In a post-Endgame world, this is as good a time as many to re-introduce the character. The two-time Oscar winner is a great choice, and it will be very interesting to see Ali in an action-heavy role.
It also proves that Marvel truly didn’t care about those MCU Netflix TV shows, as Ali played a Cornell Stokes on Luke Cage. Those shows were not overseen by Kevin Feige (as the new Disney+ ones will be) and if there was ever proof that Daredevil, Jessica Jones, et al were essentially not canon – as good as some of those shows were – this is it.
Obviously attention now turns to who will direct Ali as Blade? Plenty of filmmakers will certainly be interested. One imagines the 1998 film was a big influence on many younger directors.
At SDCC, Marvel also announced Thor and Doctor Strange sequels, while bringing back Natalie Portman and confirming LGBTQ+ characters in future films such as The Eternals. But this was arguably the biggest news of the day.