Summary

  • Blade’s troubled production history has me more excited for a superhero movie than ever before, despite script issues and director changes.
  • The MCU’s new Blade movie with Mahershala Ali explores a darker, horror-inspired corner of the Marvel Universe on the big screen.
  • Blade’s debut film could pave the way for more diverse genres in the MCU, offering a much-needed shakeup in superhero storytelling.



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It’s no secret that the MCU is going through a bit of a rough patch, but the formerly infallible cinematic universe’s troubled Blade movie has me the most excited I’ve been about a superhero movie in years. Though the MCU’s upcoming movies include two Avengers epics, Deadpool’s introduction to the MCU, and the first Marvel movie featuring a legacy hero in the title role, they aren’t what has me most looking forward in anticipation. Instead, I can’t stop thinking about Marhershala Ali’s vampire hunter.


Blade, a half-vampire Marvel hero who protects the Earth from everything that goes bump in the night, is no stranger to the big screen. Blade, Blade II, and Blade: Trinity, all starring the iconic Wesley Snipes, helped usher in the modern age of superhero movies when they hit theaters between 1998 and 2004. Though the behind-the-scenes problems of the MCU’s Blade should perhaps have me a bit more concerned, I’m ready for a breath of fresh air (and some good, old-fashioned violence).

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Blade Has Had A Challenging Road To Release

Mahershala Ali in sunglasses in Alita Battle Angel


Given that the core concept of Blade as a character is fairly straightforward and seemingly well-suited for live-action, it may be a bit surprising that Marvel Studios’ take on the character has had such a challenging time making it through production. I was delighted when an actor as acclaimed as Mahershala Ali was immediately attached (and, more than that, seemed to be a driving force behind the movie being green-lit in the first place), but it seems that a revolving door of script issues has paused the movie’s momentum.

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Mahershala Ali is set to debut in the MCU’s Phase 6 as a new version of Eric Brooks, a.k.a. Blade, the iconic vampire hunter from Marvel Comics.


Blade was first announced way back in 2021, with Bassam Tariq attached to direct. However, he left a year later, and Yann Demange (best known for Lovecraft Country) stepped in to replace him. The movie has also gone through three writers as of now (and, reportedly, multiple full rewrites), starting with Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Watchmen), moving to Beau DeMayo (X-Men ’97), and finally landing on Michael Starrbury (When They See Us). At this point, the movie is slated for release on November 7, 2025, four years after it was announced.

Blade Will Dive Into A Rarely Seen Corner Of The MCU

Vampire Trophy in Bloodstone Mansion in Werewolf By Night

The MCU has already proved that it can make an unapologetic love letter to classic movie monsters


Of course, all that trouble begs the question of why I’m still so excited for Blade. While a revolving door of behind-the-scenes talent isn’t the way I’d prefer a movie’s pre-production to go, it does nothing to dampen my excitement about the MCU finally exploring the dark, classic horror-inspired corner of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Even more exciting is that the MCU has already proved that it can make an unapologetic love letter to classic movie monsters with the wonderful MCU Special Presentation, Werewolf By Night.

The Marvel Universe is more than spaceships and spandex, and I’m ready for the MCU to agree. Marvel Comics explores everything from bright, classic superheroes to neo-noir mysteries. Hard sci-fi to grounded, interpersonal dramas. It’s this idea that superhero stories are less of a genre in and of themselves and, instead, a lens through which genre can be explored that’s always drawn me to them, and Blade is the first exploration of something new in Marvel’s post-Endgame movies.


However, Blade will explore largely untraveled ground in more than just genre. While the upcoming Deadpool and Wolverine is set to be the MCU’s first R-rated movie, Blade will reportedly be number 2. I’m excited to see Blade able to fully let loose in his debut movie, opening up about how scary the vampires can be and how creatively brutal the vampire hunter can be as he takes out his prey.

I Miss The MCU’s Early-Years Genre Exploration

It’s no surprise that a long-running cinematic universe like the MCU can’t keep things as fresh during years 16+ as it could in the first few, but one decision I think has been a major mistake is the homogenization of genres in the MCU. If Blade does well, which it certainly should if for no other reason than Ali’s involvement as the titular hero, it can hopefully act as a proof of concept for a return to a more diverse range of movies outside of sci-fi and the occasional magical fantasy. It’s something the MCU Phase 1 excelled at.


Iron Man grounded its titular hero and told a superhero story in the shell of a more classic action movie with Stark’s suit operating under (false and exaggerated) laws of physics. The Incredible Hulk took the Jade Giant and put a body-horror spin on it, and Thor introduced high fantasy to the MCU. Next, Captain: America: The First Avenger was a WWII period piece, and The Avengers was a true and classic Saturday morning cartoon come to life.

MCU Phase 1 Movie

Genre

Iron Man

Low Sci-Fi Action

The Incredible Hulk

Body Horror Action

Iron Man 2

Low Sci-Fi Action

Thor

High Fantasy

Captain America: The First Avenger

WWII Period Piece

The Avengers

Classic Superhero


A look at the MCU’s more recent movies shows a relatively disappointing variety of genres. Phase 5 so far has consisted of two space-faring adventures (The Marvels and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) and an Ant-Man trilogy closer that’s a space movie in writing and design, even if it technically takes place in the subatomic realm. In addition to a guy slicing vampires with a katana just being darned cool, the MCU needs it as a nudge back toward cinematic diversity.

Blade Can Be The Iron Man Of Marvel’s Paranormal Avengers

Tony Stark ready for the Time Heist in Avengers Endgame

Even perhaps more so than the Blade movie, I’m excited about the Daywalker’s introduction to the MCU because it can be the first official step toward a new Avengers-style team on the big screen. In Marvel Comics, Blade doesn’t just fight vampires. He also frequently leads a collection of heroes to tackle Marvel’s supernatural threats. Notable characters already in the MCU, like Doctor Strange, Moon Knight, and Werewolf by Night, have all been on the team, so the pieces are there.


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Halfway through the MCU Phase 5, I still think it’s a mistake that Marvel Studios has sidelined their biggest tent-pole super-team. Perhaps adding a few smaller “Avengers” teams, like the Midnight Sons, the all-female A-Force, or the recently teased Young Avengers, can help bring team-ups back to the franchise with more regularity aside from saga-concluding epics. Moreover, the supernatural tilt of the team can keep their stories fresh and justify why their particular set of skills is needed.

Hopefully, Blade can turn things around as the clock continues to tick toward its current release date, November 7, 2025. The MCU needs a central star more than ever to draw together the disparate threads of Phases 4-6, and there is perhaps nobody attached to the sprawling franchise more perfect to do it than Mahershala Ali. Marvel Studios just needs to give him the start he deserves with Blade, and I can’t wait to see them pull it off.


Blade MCU Poster

Blade (2025)

Director
Bassam Tariq

Release Date
November 7, 2025

Writers
Stacy Osei-Kuffour

Cast
Mahershala Ali , Delroy Lindo , Aaron Pierre

Key Release Date

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