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MCU's Blade Release Date, Cast, Director, Writer And More Details

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While it's suffered a few bumps along the way, Marvel Studios has pretty much been an unstoppable force since 2008, with massive hits like "Avengers: Endgame" and "Black Panther." Even before Robert Downey Jr. first donned the Iron Man armor, Fox was having tons of success with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, and Sony was killing it with Tobey Maguire's take on Peter Parker. But once upon a time, Marvel movies were massive bombs. "Howard the Duck," Dolph Lunddgren's "Punisher," 1990's "Captain America" — all massive failures.

And then ... the Daywalker arrived.

Although 2000's "X-Men" and 2002's "Spider-Man" are considered the first modern superhero movies, "Blade" predated them both. Based on Marv Wolfman's vampire slayer, the film hit theaters in 1998, resulting in blood-soaked action scenes, an iconic Wesley Snipes performance, and Marvel's first box office hit. The film inspired two further sequels, but the Daywalker (aka Eric Brooks) has been dormant since 2004. Fortunately, the MCU is resurrecting the half-man, half-vampire hero with a new actor in Snipes' shoes. What else do we know about the upcoming action flick? Read on for everything we know so far about the MCU's "Blade."

When will the MCU's Blade be released?

Up until recently, the MCU has been a pretty tight ship. With a few exceptions, when the studio picked a release date, you could pretty much circle the day on your calendar and make your moviegoing plans with 100% certainty. Granted, things got a lot messier with COVID, but we can't blame Marvel for a global pandemic.

However, recently, the ship has sprung a few leaks, and we've seen Marvel shuffle their release schedule multiple times, both with feature films and their Disney+ series. While this has affected several Marvel movies, it's most noticeably impacted "Blade." Originally, the film was meant to hit theaters on November 3, 2023, but after a bunch of behind-the-scenes creative decisions (more on this in a bit), the film was moved over to September 6, 2024. This change affected many other movies on Marvel's release slate, including "Deadpool 3," "Fantastic Four," and "Avengers: Secret Wars."

But "Blade" wasn't in the clear just yet. Due to production delays and the Writers Guild of America strike, Disney decided to reshuffle its release schedule. As a result, every post-2023 MCU movie was moved around the calendar, with "Blade" getting kicked back yet again — this time winding up on February 14, 2025. In other words, if you're a Marvel fan on Valentine's Day, you're sure to fall in love with the vampire flick when it hits theaters.

Who is starring in Blade?

In July 2019, Marvel Studios shocked everyone during their Hall H presentation at Comic-Con. As the show was wrapping up, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige brought Mahershala Ali onto the stage and announced he'd be playing everybody's favorite sword-wielding, trench coat-wearing vampire hunter. In fact, the whole thing was Ali's idea. After winning his second Oscar (the first was for "Moonlight," the second was for "Green Book"), Ali wanted to reboot "Blade," so he phoned up Feige, and as the Marvel architect explained to The Hollywood Reporter, "When Mahershala calls, you answer."

So who will be joining Ali in his efforts to rid the world of bloodsuckers? Well, we know that Delroy Lindo of "Da 5 Bloods" fame is joining the film, and we wonder if perhaps he'll be playing Blade's mentor. In the Wesley Snipes films, that character was Whistler, portrayed by Kris Kristofferson. In the comics, that character was named Jamal Afari, a jazz musician who knew a thing or two about killing creatures of the night. Lindo playing this role is just speculation on our part, but it makes a lot of sense.

As for the rest of the cast, we know Aaron Pierre will also show up. Pierre has played in projects like "The Underground Railroad" and M. Night Shyamalan's "Old," and he's set to star in Jeremy Saulnier's upcoming action thriller "Rebel Ridge." Perhaps the most exciting bit of casting news — aside from Ali's involvement — is that Mia Goth is set to star. A modern-day horror legend, Goth is best known for Ti West's "X" trilogy, where she delivered a jaw-dropping monologue in the second installment ("Pearl"), and she's also appeared in other projects like "Infinity Pool," "High Life," and "Suspiria." According to Hollywood insider Daniel Richtman, it's rumored that Goth will play the big bad guy, Lilith. However, there are two Liliths in the comic — one a vampire and one a sorcerer — so we're not sure which one Goth might be.

Who is directing Blade?

Remember how we said behind-the-scenes shakeups led to "Blade's" initial delay? Well, it seems landing a director and getting a solid script have proven to be a challenge on this one.

Originally, "Blade" was going to be helmed by Bassam Tariq, best known for directing Riz Ahmed in "Mogul Mowgli." However, in September 2022, it was announced that Tariq was stepping away from the project. As Marvel Studios explained in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, "Due to continued shifts in our production schedule, Bassam is no longer moving forward as a director of 'Blade' but will remain an executive producer on the film. We appreciate Bassam's talent and all the work he's done getting 'Blade' to where it is."

After Tariq left, "Blade" was put on hold, and the release date was pushed back as Marvel searched for a new director. Duties eventually fell to Yann Demange, who directed the first episode of "Lovecraft Country," helmed the British thriller "'71," and worked with Matthew McConaughey in "White Boy Rick."

Who is writing Blade?

Hiring a director wasn't the only creative issue with "Blade." Marvel has cycled through a couple of screenwriters as well. Originally, Stacy Osei-Kuffour of HBO's "Watchmen" penned the script. However, there were reportedly some big issues with this version of the screenplay. On September 27, 2022, industry insider Jeff Sneider tweeted he'd heard from various sources that, "The current 'Blade' script is roughly 90 pages and features exactly TWO (lackluster) action sequences. Mahershala [Ali] said to be very frustrated with the process. [Kevin] Feige said to be spread too thin."

Whether or not that's accurate, we do know that Marvel brought in Beau DeMayo of "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" and "Moon Knight" for rewrites. However, it seems those weren't satisfactory either, as Marvel eventually hired Michael Starrbury — who earned an Emmy nomination for writing on Ava DuVernay's true-crime series "When They See Us" — to write the screenplay. However, in April 2023, it was reported that Marvel had brought on yet another screenwriter. Now, Nic Pizzolatto — who created "True Detective" — is working on Starrbury's script. (Interestingly, Ali starred in Season 3 of "True Detective.") While that's a pretty big screenwriting get, we hope that this isn't a case of too many cooks in the kitchen and that Pizzolatto can iron out any remaining issues with the script.

Of course, he'll have to wait a while before he can finish up the script. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there wasn't enough time for Pizzolatto to tidy things up before the WGA strike that began in May 2023. This probably played a big part in the movie getting bumped back from September 2024 to February 2025.

How is Blade connected to the rest of the MCU?

Did you know Blade has already appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The Daywalker cameoed in "Eternals" — well, his voice did anyway, showing up in a post-credit scene. It happens after Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) discovers the Ebony Sword, a mystical weapon that will turn him into the Black Knight. As he reaches out to pick up the fabled blade, Whitman suddenly hears a voice behind him. "Sure you're ready for that, Mr. Whitman?" Blade asks from off-screen. Then the scene cuts to black.

So, will the two swordsmen be joining up for an MCU adventure? Sadly, it seems unlikely. Speaking at San Antonio's Superhero Comic-Con and Car Show in July 2023, Kit Harington told an audience, "I think there was some misunderstanding about whether [Dane Whitman] was going to be in the 'Blade' movie. He was never meant to be in the 'Blade' movie and isn't." Was this really always the intention? Or was it more of a reaction to "Eternals" bombing hard with critics and audiences? Or did something change during the multiple script rewrites? Regardless, it appears the Black Knight won't be joining Blade in any vampire-slaying adventures.

However, there's always the possibility Blade might team up with someone else. In the Marvel One-Shot "Werewolf by Night," we were introduced to characters from the scarier corners of Marvel Comics, including Gael García Bernal's Jack Russell, Laura Donnelly's Elsa Bloodstone, and Carey Jones' Man-Thing. In the comics, all three of these characters are members of a creepy super group called Midnight Sons – a team that also includes Blade — and it would be pretty awesome if Eric Brooks and Jack Russell could take on a truly terrifying threat together.

What will Blade be rated?

Released in 1998, the original "Blade" earned a well-deserved R rating. Wesley Snipes was dropping bodies and F-bombs all throughout the movie, and the film's opening — one of the greatest of all time — kicked off with a wild vampire rave, complete with blood sprinklers.

Now, we doubt that the MCU's "Blade" is going to get that gory. However, we do think it might be a bit more intense than your typical PG-13 Marvel movie. After all, "Deadpool 3" is part of the MCU now, and it will reportedly be rated R. Plus, Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter said back in November 2022, "Details are being kept under wraps, but sources say the new intent is for 'Blade' to be dark and gritty in tone, falling on the edgier side of Marvel fare and maybe even find common shading with the fondly-remembered 'Blade' movies made in the early 2000s by New Line."

So this time around, expect a much harder PG-13 or perhaps even an R. Looks like "Blade" is about to get bloody.

Where to watch the original Blade movies

While you're waiting to see Mahershala Ali's take on the beloved vampire hunter, it might be a good idea to go back and watch the film that started it all — 1998's "Blade." This action-horror pic features plenty of epic showdowns and a ton of memorable one-liners (like the one about ice-skating uphill). To watch Marvel's first theatrical success, you can rent it for $2.99 on sites like Prime Video and Vudu, or rent it for $3.99 on platforms like Google Play and YouTube.

The series continues with "Blade II," only this time, renowned auteur Guillermo del Toro is sitting in the director's chair. In this film, Blade is forced to join forces with his bloodsucking enemies to take on an even bigger threat — vampires that want to eat humans and other vampires. Featuring the likes of Ron Perlman, Donnie Yen, and Norman Reedus, "Blade II" is available to rent for $3.99 on sites like Google Play, Prime Video, Vudu, and YouTube.

Then we come to "Blade: Trinity." While the first two "Blade" films are great fun, the third movie features a noticeable drop-off in quality and was reportedly a nightmare to make. (The story goes that Snipes was so difficult during filming that he refused to open his eyes at one point, and the filmmakers had to add CG eyes to his face.) If you want to witness this horror show, you can rent "Blade: Trinity" for $2.99 on sites like Google Play, Prime Video, Vudu, and YouTube.