Monday, Marvel unveiled a sizzle reel which showcased what most believe to be the rest of its theatrical slate for Phase 4. While the reel ended with a tease for the third incarnation of Fantastic Four, one noticeable omission was Marvel’s Blade, starring Mahershala Ali. While the former was just revealed at Disney Investor Day less than 6 months ago, the latter was revealed almost two years ago.
Make no mistake. Blade is still happening. It’s just more likely that we won’t be seeing for a while. Today THR confirmed that.
In an article aimed at updating fans about the status of the next Superman movie, The Hollywood Reporter also revealed that production of Blade is now expected to commence in the Summer of 2022. That means right as fans gear up to revisit Wakanda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, another promising property featuring a hero of color will just be getting off the ground.
This is great news, considering that the representation in Warner Bros.’ DCEU is lacking. However, its highly publicized intention to make the next Kal-El black could actually pose a potential problem for Marvel. As THR also points out, since production on the next Superman movie is moving swiftly, it appears that both Warner Bros. and Disney are looking at similar names to helm their projects with some directors having already met with one or both studios.
While no talent has been specifically named or linked to Blade or Superman, it’s not hard to see who the studios could be courting. In mid to late 2015, both Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler were just coming off of the critical and commercial success of Selma and Creed respectively. Coogler eventually got the job. In the six years since, the pool of talent to choose from is a lot bigger since many more black creators have been given a seat at the table.
Some obvious directors that could be in talks for one or both of the films include Barry Jenkins, Regina King, J.D. Dillard, and Shaka King. As awesome as it would be to picture Jenkins making a (hopefully Rated-R) Blade movie, it also makes the most sense at this point, considering his current relationship with Disney and his commitment to the second Lion King film. Dillard too, since it was reported early last year that he was currently working on a Star Wars project at Lucasfilm.
Ryan Coogler was announced as the director of Black Panther in January of 2016, a little over two years prior to the release of the film. With Blade at least two years away, I’d say we’ll probably find out more pretty soon. Currently, Stacy Osei-Kuffour is working on the film’s script, while two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali is still attached to star.