There was a lot of big news that came out of Marvel's big panel at San Diego Comic-Con, but the most surprising was the announcement that Mahershala Ali would be bringing Blade into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an all-new film. While the return of Blade has been a topic of conversation in the past, there was little evidence it was going to happen anytime soon, but it turns out that we can thank Mahershala Ali himself for getting it done.
A massive undertaking like the MCU works as well as it does because of the core people at Marvel Studios that make sure it runs like a well oiled machine. Usually, it's people like Kevin Feige who figure out what story they need to tell, and then the cast and crew that can best tell that story are put together. However, Blade's debut in the MCU apparently worked the other way, as Kevin Feige tells Fandango that Ali was the one who pitched it to the studio. According to Feige...
We have, for years, wanted to find a new way into Blade. We love that character. We love that world. Now with Dr. Strange, and the supernatural elements coming into the MCU, it felt like we could definitely start exploring that. Mahershala wanted to come in and meet with us. And when Mahershala wants to meet, you take the meeting. And I think he had just come off of his second Academy Award. And we were talking very polite and he was talking about what a fan he is, and then he just cut right to it, and was like 'Blade." And we were like, 'Yes.'
Nobody would deny that when a two-time Oscar winner wants to meet, you take the meeting. Also, when a two-time Oscar winner says he wants to play a vampire hunter in a movie for you, you just agree and get the paperwork drawn up.
If all this happened just after Mahershala Ali won his second Oscar, then it's only been in the works for a few months. Ali won his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Green Book back in February. It does help explain how there hadn't been any rumors of this project before it was announced. There simply wasn't enough time for it to leak.
While Blade was officially announced, the film wasn't given a release date, so we have no idea when it will actually arrive. Early 2022 would be the first opportunity, and even if the film is only in its earliest stages now, which seems to be the case, there's plenty of time to make a 2022 release date if somebody is starting work on a script now.
Blade may be years off, but it's coming, and the rest of the MCU doesn't look half bad either.