Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige made waves this weekend when he ended Marvel’s Hall H presentation with the announcement of a Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali – and he has now confirmed that Blade will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Five. The MCU Phase Four release slate, which currently consists of five movies and five Disney+ TV shows, will only last for two years (2020-2021) before Marvel moves on to Phase Five.
Ali, who previously played the villain Cottonmouth in the (theoretically) MCU-set TV show Luke Cage, arrived on stage as a surprise guest at the end of the Marvel panel. Feige pointed out that Ali had brought a hat on stage with him, and asked him to put it on. Ali did so, revealing the new Blade logo, and the crowd went wild.
When Feige announced dates for five upcoming MCU movies, many assumed that he was revealing only part of the MCU Phase Four, and that the rest of the slate would be announced later. However, Feige has since revealed to Collider that Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder make up the complete Phase Four slate – as it’s currently planned out.
“It is the complete Phase Four the way I announced the complete Phase Three five years ago—things can move, things can change as they did if you go back and look at what we talked about five years ago for Phase Three, but we’ve been working on this for quite a while and it’s pretty set. But there are always changes possible.”
Blade, a half-vampire who can survive in the sunlight and who hunts down other vampires, was famously played by Wesley Snipes in a trilogy of movies released between 1998 and 2004. Following the release of Blade: Trinity, there was also a short-lived Blade TV show that starred Sticky Fingaz in the lead role. Feige confirmed in 2013 that the movie rights to Blade had returned to Marvel Studios, and with the Infinity Saga concluded, the studio is getting ready to create its own version of Eric Stokes Brooks.
While the MCU Phase Five might sound like it’s a long way off, given that Phase Four hasn’t even begun yet, Blade could be in theaters as early as 2022. Other confirmed Phase Five movies include Captain Marvel 2, Black Panther 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and the latter two films already have directors attached (Ryan Coogler and James Gunn, both returning from successful previous entries). However, now that Blade has a star attached we could start to see things moving forward quickly.
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