When is Mahershala Ali’s Blade coming to cinemas? Who’s in the cast and what is the plot?

The superhero vampire hunter was a shock addition to Marvel’s slate at San Diego Comic-Con

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Among the many surprises at Marvel Studios’ San Diego Comic-Con 2019 panel, perhaps the biggest came at the end when it was revealed that Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali had signed up for a new movie based on superhero vampire-hunter Blade.

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Created in Marvel’s comic universe in 1973 and previously played by Wesley Snipes on the silver screen, Blade’s backstory – a half-vampire called Eric Brooks determined to exterminate all bloodsuckers using his skills and supernatural abilities – is sure to make for a very different entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But what can we expect from Ali’s new Blade? What information has been released and who’s in the cast? Check out everything we currently know about the Blade reboot below.


When is the Blade reboot coming to cinemas?

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Currently unknown, though we could be in for a long wait. Apparently Blade isn’t even a part of Marvel’s Phase Four, which kicks off in 2020 with Black Widow and continues over several films and new streaming series afterwards.

In other words we have to get through Black Widow, Thor 4, Doctor Strange 2, The Eternals, Shang Chi and (probably) Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel and Black Panther sequels before we’ll get to see Ali’s vampire-hunter in action.


Is there a trailer?

At this early stage prior to filming there’s no sign of preview footage or images, though we’ll update this page if that changes.


Who’s in the cast of Blade?

Blade star Mahershala Ali with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige
Blade star Mahershala Ali with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige

As noted, Mahershala Ali has been cast in the central role of Blade, the half-vampire daywalker who hunts down creatures of the night in the Marvel universe.

Ali previously appeared in Netflix’s tie-in Marvel series Luke Cage as villain Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes and in animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse so he definitely has some superhero pedigree, and apparently he was pivotal in getting the Blade reboot made in the first place.

According to Marvel boss Kevin Feige, immediately after bagging his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Green Book Ali called him to set up a meeting, and then pitched the concept of a Blade movie starring himself.

“When Mahershala calls, you answer,” Feige told the Hollywood Reporter.

No other cast members have been announced at this time.


Wasn’t there a Blade movie before?

Wesley Snipes in 1998's Blade (Sky)
Wesley Snipes in 1998’s Blade (Sky)

Yes there was – three in fact, all of which starred Wesley Snipes as the titular vampire-hunter from 1998 to 2004, and which are sometimes credited with kicking off the modern age of superhero cinema in which we’re now living.

The first Blade and Blade II were particularly critically acclaimed and also starred Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Dorff, Donnie Yen, Danny John-Jules and Donal Logue among others, though third movie Blade: Trinity (which added Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel to the action) was less popular and ended the franchise (apart from an attempted TV reboot with a new cast in 2006).

And despite some consternation from his fans (who would have liked to see him return) Snipes has given Ali his blessing in taking over the role.

“To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, chillaaxx,” said Snipes in a statement to TheWrap.

“Although the news comes as a surprise, it’s ALL GOOD. Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU crew — always a fan. Honor and respect to the grandmaster Stan.

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“Congratulations and Salaam to Mahershala Ali, a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come. Inshallah, we will someday work together.”