Does Marvel ‘Blade’ Reboot Mean Vampires Are Coming to the MCU?

Soon the Marvel Cinematic Universe will begin to suck. Blood that is, as the studio welcomes Blade into their ranks. 

One of the big surprises of the Marvel announcement at San Diego Comic-Con was that Mahershala Ali would star in a reboot of the character who is a vampire hunter. That had not been predicted in many of any of the forecasts or upcoming Marvel movies, but that made the news all the more exciting when fans heard it.

So who and what exactly is Blade, and what will he mean to the MCU going forward?

Who is Blade?

Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali | Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Blade is a Marvel character created in 1973. His given name is Eric Brooks, who gained vampire abilities in the womb after the intervention of a doctor who was a vampire. Brooks helped an old man being attacked by vampires, and that old man was a vampire hunter who became Brooks’ mentor. Because he’s particularly skilled with knives and swords, he earns the name of Blade. 

Although Blade has vampire abilities, including a taste for blood, he does not have the traditional vampire weaknesses, such as an aversion to sunlight. Therefore, traditional vampires hate and fear him.

That story was adapted into a 1998 movie starring Wesley Snipes, and it did well enough to spawn two sequels: Blade II, directed by future Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), and Blade Trinity. All three movies were written by David S. Goyer, who would go on to co-write Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. 

None of the Blade movies were phenomenal hits, but they did well enough to earn a profit and a cult following, and now fans hope the MCU can revive the character just as it did Spider-Man after Sony had struggled with the web-slinger’s movies. 

Has Marvel had vampires?

So does this mean vampires have always been in the MCU and we just didn’t know it yet? It’s a tantalizing possibility that the new movie will no doubt explore. In a way, however, a Marvel horror movie was already made, it’s just not part of the MCU — and its reputation has been tarnished by sitting on the shelf for so long. 

That would be The New Mutants, a movie that was meant to be part of the Fox X-Men franchise. Starring Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy, it is not known to include vampires, but it’s billed as a “superhero horror film.” For instance, Williams’ character can turn into a wolf.

However, the movie has been dogged by production troubles and repeated release date delays helped in no way by the delays of Dark Phoenix, which bombed when it finally came out. The movie is scheduled to come out in April 2020, but there has been some speculation that it will be kicked to Hulu or Disney+. 

What the new ‘Blade’ movie will entail

The new MCU Blade was not part of the lineup that the studio unveiled for 2019 and 2020, but the announcement of two-time Oscar-winner Ali in the title role prompted great excitement on and off the stage.

“The man won a second Academy Award,  and (the) first thing he did was come to meet with us which is always very flattering and very nice,” said Marvel President Kevin Feige said. The studio had regained the rights to the character in 2013, according to Bustle

Not much is known about the movie. Since the IMDB lists no cast other than Ali and there is no writer or director, it’s safe to assume the movie won’t come out until at least 2022. Until then, we’ll have to see if upcoming films like The Eternals or Shang-Chi set the stage for Blade so the swords and the blood can start flying.