Mahershala Ali’s Blade Movie Has Taken A Big Step Forward

Mahershala Ali in Alita: Battle Angel

At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios Present Kevin Feige announced that Blade, who’s been absent from the big screen since Wesley Snipes’ last outing as the vampire hunter in 2004’s Blade: Trinity, would be rebooted for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. True Detective and Alita: Battle Angel’s Mahershala Ali will bring this new version of Blade to life, but over a year and a half later, there have been few updates on the project’s progress. Well, today finally brings a big development on the Blade front, as the reboot has found its writer.

Stacy Osei-Kuffour has reportedly been tapped to write the Blade reboot, per THR. Osei-Kuffour is a playwright who already has some experience in comic book media as a writer and story editor on HBO’s Watchmen series. It was also mentioned in the article that Marvel spent six months carrying out a “meticulous search” to find the right writer. Only Black writers were “seriously considered” as part of the company’s goal to focus on diversity and representation. Osei-Kuffour is the first Black woman to write a Marvel movie.

Although Blade (whose real name is Eric Brooks) has been part of the Marvel mythos since debuting in 1973’s The Tomb of Dracula #10, it was Wesley Snipes’ time as Blade on the big screen that catapulted the character to new heights of popularity. Arriving in 1998, years before X-Men and Spider-Man, not only did the first Blade movie launch a trilogy and establish Marvel as a force to be reckoned with in the cinematic space, it also set the stage for Hollywood to eventually start regularly churning out superhero movies. Blade was also played by Sticky Fingaz in Spike’s short-lived 2006 live-action Blade TV series.

This will be Mahershala Ali’s fourth comic book media project, having previously played Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in Netflix’s Luke Cage, Aaron Davis (a.k.a. The Prowler) in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Titan in Amazon’s upcoming Invincible animated series. Shortly after the Blade reboot was officially announced, Kevin Feige revealed that rather than the project having already been in development when Ali came aboard, the actor pitched the reboot in a meeting to Feige and the Marvel brass shortly after he won an Oscar for his performance in Green Book. Whatever he said must have been persuasive, because Feige announced the return of Blade to the public months later.

Now that Stacy Osei-Kuffour (whose other credits include Pen15 and Hunters) has been hired to write the Blade screenplay, Marvel Studios is reportedly looking to hire a director next. With the MCU film calendar filled up until November 2022, and movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Fantastic Four already on deck to potentially come out in 2023, we’re likely still a long ways off from Blade’s arrival. It also remains to be seen if Blade will operate within the MCU’s traditional PG-13 parameters or, like the previous Blade movies, if Marvel will allow it to delve into R-rated territory, like what’s being done with Deadpool 3.

Rest assured, as more significant Blade updates come in, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know. You can learn what other Marvel movies are on the way with our comprehensive guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.