If there were any upcoming MCU film I was more hyped for than the 2025 Avengers Duology (The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars), it would be Blade. Releasing on November 3rd, 2023, the formerly Bassam Tariq-directed film stars Marvel alum Mahershala Ali (Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth in Luke Cage (Season 1), Aaron Davis/Prowler in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) reprising his role as Eric Brooks/Blade, following on from his uncredited vocal cameo in the Eternals post-credits scene. Not much is known about the film, other than three other members of the cast, Delroy Lindo, Aaron Pierre and Milan Ray, all of whose roles have yet to be confirmed. Although story details are equally scarce, details about the film’s timeline exist and are quite intriguing, so without further ado, let’s dive in!
What’s most interesting about Blade’s place on the MCU timeline is that it’s become more and more apparent that the film isn’t reduced to one time period. Now of course this isn’t uncommon for Marvel, as films like Eternals jump around between different points in the timeline, from 5000 BC to 1521 AD, to 1945 to the present-day MCU.
First, is the Present-Day Storyline (c. 2024). Given that Blade and Dane Whitman/Black Knight (Kit Harrington) have already met in the MCU, it makes sense that the film would serve as a pseudo-sequel to their meet-cute in Eternals post-credits scene. Skyler Shuler, EIC of The DisInsider said on The DisInsider Show that he thinks Dane Whitman will show up in the film, which is supported by Eternals VFX Supervisor Stephane Ceretti teasing that Whitman’s signature weapon in the comics, the Ebony Blade (which appeared in the aforementioned post-credits scene), will appear in Blade in a larger capacity than it did in its previous film. Additionally, a casting call posted by DanielRPK on his Patreon mentions Marvel Studios are looking for a French-speaking North African actress in their 20s – 40s to play the supporting character “Faiza”, a “talker who doesn’t back down” and a “tough and agile fighter with a strong presence and drive” for an untitled feature film, which Knight Edge Media confirmed was Blade, implying this is Faiza Hussain/Excalibur, who dated Dane Whitman in the Earth-616 comics continuity. All this information isn’t exactly surprising given the set-up in the Eternals post-credits scene, and that the MCU has slowly been referencing the events of the film, with a headline in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law 1×02 “Superhuman Law” asking the question ‘Why there is a giant statue of a man sticking out of the ocean’, a reference to the failed-Emergence of the Celestial Tiamut.
Next, there are the Past Storyline(s) (c. 1900 – 1980) (reported by GeekVibesNation). We can isolate the 1920s/30s as the primary storyline in the past given it’s the most we have information about so far, but that very well may change as we get closer to the film’s release. We know about the 20s/30s time period thanks to information given to Grace Randolph from Beyond the Trailer (who also confirmed the Present-Day Storyline) and information given to the r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers moderators. They both mention that the 1920s/30s is one of many time periods in which the film will take place, which makes sense given that the Dhampir Blade was born on October 24th, 1929, implying we’ll see the lives of Blade’s parents, Lucas and Tara (later takes the name “Vanessa Brooks”) Cross, before Blade was born, and then the early life of Blade. This is also supported by the Reddit post we discussed earlier which mentions a “Jazzy-Classic” tone to the film, which makes sense given the increasing popularity of Jazz in 1920s America and Europe. This is further supported by a casting call posted by Angela Boehm Casting on Airtable which explicitly states “This film takes place in a past time period”, and given that it says “due to the period and trends of that era, men did not shave bald like modern times”, implying these scenes will be set in the 1920s as the electric razor wasn’t invented yet. It’s worth noting that the canon of New Line Cinema’s Blade Trilogy, Earth-26320, spans the time from 1899 to 2006, with Blade being born in 1967 and flashbacks to his early life in 1977 being shown, with the bulk of his life shown from 1996 – 2006, roughly 29 – 39 years after his birth indicating the MCU will follow similar trends, with a lot of his 20th Century action scenes taking place between the 1950s and the 1970s.
UPDATE (30/09/2022): Following the publication of our article, new information about Blade’s multiple time periods was released giving credence to our ultimate conclusion. Firstly, Grace Randolph said that the film will “follow his 100 years on Earth as a Vampire Hunter”, describing it as a “flashback movie”, confirming the 1929 – c. 2024 time span we speculated on earlier. And finally, The Illuminerdi was given information from their sources saying that the film will be “largely set in the 1920s” and that the film may feature scenes in “multiple time periods beyond the 1920s”.
And there you have it! Our proposed timeline placement of Blade is that it will take place primarily in multiple time periods, spanning the time from 1900 all the way to c. 2024, set before and after even the 20th Century-set MCU films Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain Marvel. Do you disagree? Have any other thoughts about when this or other upcoming MCU projects could take place? Are you excited for Blade when it finally releases on November 3rd, 2023? Leave a comment below or tag us on Twitter @Geekritique with your thoughts.