Marvel's Blade Reboot Was Developed as a Period Piece

Marvel Studios' Blade movie is now said to take place in the present-day MCU.

Marvel Studios has a history of period pieces. 2011's pulpy Captain America: The First Avenger took place against the backdrop of World War II in the Marvel Cinematic Universe of the 1940s, and the 1990s-set Captain Marvel was filled with nostalgic nods to the Game Boy, Blockbuster Video stores, and Nine Inch Nails band tees. But Marvel's Blade reboot, Mahershala Ali's long-gestating star vehicle that was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, was to go even further back in time: to the 1920s.

Rumors that Blade was largely set in the 1920s with scenes spanning "multiple time periods" date back to 2022. (In the comics, the half-human, half-vampire hunter was born during London's Great Depression in 1929.) According to The Hollywood Reporter, the version of Blade that was supposed to shoot in 2023 with director Yann Demange took place in the 1920s with X and MaXXXine star Mia Goth — who reportedly remains attached to the project — playing Lilith, an ancient demon-vampire goddess who "wanted the blood of Blade's daughter."


Yet another report claimed that the movie once "morphed into a narrative led by women and filled with life lessons." Last year, writer Michael Starrburry, who penned an unused draft, took to social media to dispel rumors that a female-fronted Blade put more focus on his dhampir daughter, Brielle Brooks, a.k.a. Bloodline. (Rumors that Blade's daughter would center the reboot have existed as far back as 2015, before the movie ever officially entered development.)

The current version of Blade is said to take place in the present-day MCU, which introduced Ali's Blade — albeit off-screen, in a voice-only role — in a post-credits scene of 2021's Eternals. Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049) penned the most recent draft of the script that has since been passed to Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok, Black Widow, Marvel's Fantastic Four reboot). The script has undergone a number of rewrites since 2021: Stacy Osei-Kuffour (HBO's Watchmen), Beau DeMayo (Marvel's Moon Knight and X-Men '97), Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective), and Michael Starrburry (When They See Us) all took a stab at bringing the Daywalker out of development hell.

Ali, who will next shoot Jurassic World 4 for Universal, has become "increasingly frustrated" with the stalled project that he put into motion with a phone call to producer Kevin Feige following his second Oscar win for Green Book. According to THR, the actor has "exercised an inordinate amount of influence" on Blade "in a way few other actors have on Marvel movies," and the two-time Oscar winner "has envisioned Blade as his Black Panther."

As it happens, Marvel's Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and star Michael B. Jordan are reteaming for an untitled vampire movie at Warner Bros. that is said to be "set in the Jim Crow-era South." Unlike Blade, Coogler's vampire period piece began filming this past April and will beat the Marvel movie to theaters: it's set to open March 7th, 2025. Blade, meanwhile, is currently scheduled to release later that year on November 7th.