“No, I’m something else.”
With no shortage of surprises coming SDCC this year, in a true Feige move, he couldn’t end this year’s Marvel panel without at least one out of the blue announcement. With an arsenal of films already in the pipeline, this fan favourite is definitely due an MCU rebirth. Blade is back. Blade is in the MCU!
If you’re not familiar with Wesley Snipes turn as the leather clad hunter, then today is your lucky day. Appearing for the first time in 1973 in a supporting role in The Tomb of Dracula, from writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan, Blade is a vampire hunting his own kind to protect mankind for the horrors of bloodsucking doom. A vampire himself, Blade has the ability to walk amongst the living in daylight, as well as sporting immense strength / agility and immunity to many vampiric dangers. Developing these powers as a result of his mother being prayed upon during birth, Eric Brooks (later nicknamed Blade) grew up on the streets, developing a cocky attitude after proving himself to be a worthy hunter.
Announcing Mahershala Ali onto the stage, Feige prompted him to reveal his own snapback hat design, as the rest of the Phase Four cast sported a Black Widow variant. And there it was. All you needed to know in one quick move. It’s unknown when the MCU’s revitalization of the character will debut but it seems that this has been a move brewing behind the scenes for some time. Apparently Ali contacted Marvel himself to setup a meeting with Feige, with no prior discussions of a project in mind.
Once it came down to it, Ali flat out asked for the role. That’s certainly one way of doing it. For a while it seemed like fans of the daywalker may see Wesley Snipes don the leather jacket once more, but such is the nature of the business. One concern that will probably become attached to the property is whether Blade can work in a 12a / PG-13 environment, as opposed to the Touchstone freedom of an 18 / r-rating.
With recent MCU offerings like Endgame tackling darker threats, there might be hope yet. Whether it needs to be an r-rating is another discussion entirely. Feige and co. undoubtedly put their fanbase first. The famed vampire hunter is in good hands once more.